China is acting like a sore loser and Elon Musk has come to understand that hobnobbing with China was the biggest mistake of his life.
China and Elon Musk on ‘collision course’
Beijing on Tuesday accused the United States of irresponsible and unsafe conduct in space. It pointed out two “close encounters” between the Chinese space station and Elon Musk’s SpaceX satellites.
China claimed that Tiangong, China’s new space station, had to take evasive action to avoid collision with one Starlink satellite in July and another one in October.
In a note submitted to the United Nations space agency this month, Beijing claimed that the incidents “constituted dangers to the life or health of astronauts aboard the China Space Station”.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, a wolf-warrior who once said that the Five Eyes alliance will be “poked and blinded” for talking about Hong Kong, too criticised the US. He said, “The US… ignores its obligations under international treaties, posing a serious threat to the lives and safety of astronauts.”
Chinese propaganda against Musk campaign picks up
Beijing’s complaint about Starlink has prompted criticism of Musk on Chinese social media. And guess what are the Chinese keyboard warriors thinking of? A campaign to boycott Tesla and purchase the local brands instead that will be heavily subsidised by the Chinese Communist Party.
One Chinese social media user said, “How ironic that Chinese people buy Tesla, contributing large sums of money so Musk can launch Starlink, and then he (nearly) crashes into China’s space station.”
Yet, another user was even more direct about his plans with a Weibo post stating, “Prepare to boycott Tesla.”Weibo is the Chinese version of Twitter. Twitter is banned in China, as China had already decided that Twitter is a threat to its national security just like it seems set to label Tesla as another security threat.
How China duped Elon Musk
Elon Musk must now be realising how China can be a harmful partner to deal with. He praised China and even talked about the “entitled” and “complacent” character of the Americans. But China never really returned the favour. Beijing is looking to defame Musk and has dragged the matter to the United Nations with is a note against the US.
Chinese President Xi Jinping pulled the plug on Tesla in China. Earlier this year, it was reported that Tesla Inc’s vehicle orders in China nearly halved in May, when compared to April, against the backdrop of increased government scrutiny on the U.S. electric carmaker.
The CCP started a negative PR campaign against Tesla, with months of local media emphasis on Tesla’s vehicles’ safety and the company’s data collection and storage policies.
China developed home-grown EV companies and copied the necessary technology from Tesla. Then, Beijing simply started the phase-wise banning of the American EV company. Musk even accused Chinese electric car maker Xpeng of stealing old source codes of Tesla.
This is what China does to foreign brands. It lets them come in for a while, relies on their technologies, develops indigenous brands and then uses unfair practices against such foreign brands.
And why just Tesla? China is also copying SpaceX. A conceptual video presented by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT) earlier this year showed a vertical lift-off rocket that looked just like Elon Musk’s headline-grabbing SpaceX Starship. From the gleaming stainless-steel exterior to the smooth separation of the first and second stages, China most likely claims to have invented it all on its own.
China has duped Musk and Musk has only himself to blame for getting too cosy with the paper Dragon.
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