…By Roland Peterson for TDPel Media.
According to Chinese flight-tracking data, a jet belonging to Tesla CEO Elon Musk departed from Shanghai’s Hongqiao airport on Thursday.
The departure marked the end of Musk’s visit to China, during which he expressed his aspirations to expand business in the country’s thriving electric vehicle market.
The private jet was en route to Austin, Texas, where Tesla’s headquarters are located.
Musk’s First Trip to China in Three Years
This visit to China marked Elon Musk’s first trip to the country in over three years.
During his stay, Musk visited Tesla’s factory on the outskirts of Shanghai, where he met with employees.
A post on China’s Weibo social media by Grace Tao, Tesla’s global vice president, confirmed the visit.
Additionally, Musk met with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao in Beijing, where he praised China’s vitality and promise and expressed full confidence in the Chinese market, as stated in a readout of the meeting.
Silence from Musk and Tesla
Neither Elon Musk nor Tesla have made any official statements or responded to requests for comments regarding the trip.
The purpose and outcomes of the visit remain undisclosed.
Business Interests and Controversies
Elon Musk’s extensive business interests in China have attracted attention and raised concerns in Washington.
In November, US President Joe Biden mentioned that Musk’s foreign connections, particularly through his ownership of Twitter, warranted scrutiny.
Furthermore, Musk has stirred controversy by suggesting that Taiwan should become part of China, a stance that pleased Chinese officials but deeply angered Taipei.
Executives Visiting China
Elon Musk is among the Western executives who have visited China since the country lifted strict COVID-19 controls that had effectively isolated it from the rest of the world for nearly three years.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning stated that Beijing welcomes visits by international executives to foster a better understanding of China and promote mutually beneficial cooperation.
In March, Apple CEO Tim Cook visited Beijing, highlighting the symbiotic relationship between his company and China.
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