Another contribution on Twitter, another wave of controversy for Elon Musk.

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO – ever the focused businessman – recognizes success under any flag and congratulated China’s communist party on the occasion of its 100th anniversary.

He underscored the financial strength flexed by the world power, writing that “the economic prosperity that China has achieved is truly amazing, especially in infrastructure! I encourage people to visit and see for themselves.”

His comments were made in response to a post from Xinhua, the state-run news outlet, commenting on efforts by Chinese President Xi Jinping to end “absolute poverty in China.”

Ever the tactician, Musk echoed the comments through is Weibo account.

The platform is China’s version of Twitter.

Some remarks were critical of Musk:

  • “I know that you’re strictly talking about the tech and infrastructure, but Elon.. they have modern day slavery and concentration camps, along with a dictatorship. Obviously they’re getting things done, but this was a bad tweet.
  • “Elon Musk, an old CCP member,” wrote one user, who added a laughing emoji.
  • “… in China only the Communist Party elite have amassed great wealth in the country’s major cities. In contrast, hundreds of millions live in extreme poverty, slave labor is the reason for the wealth of the few.”

And some offered nuance: 

  • “The economic growth is undeniable — but if you visit and don’t do tours of the prison camps in Xinjiang, the colonization of Tibet, the state-of-the-art AI-powered surveillance apparatus, or conquered Hong Kong, then you don’t get the full picture.”

Tesla has had issues with recalls, and Musk has been seen as doing some damage control. 

In March, in an interview with China Central Television (CCTV), he said China would soon have “the biggest economy in the world” and identified China as Tesla’s most important future market.

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