US concerns about Elon Musk’s business links to China

Politicians in the United States have raised concerns about potential ties between aerospace manufacturer SpaceX and China.

Elon Musk’s business connections in China are causing concern in Washington.

There is disk that Beijing may be able to gain access to classified information possessed by Mr Musk’s aerospace manufacturer SpaceX.

US politicians have also reportedly expressed concerns about the lack of clear lines between SpaceX and electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla — also run by Mr Musk.

Tesla has extensive operations in China, Fox Business reports.

The US politicians are examining whether SpaceX’s foreign suppliers might have ties to Beijing.

Tesla has, for example, developed advanced battery packets sought by China.

China and the US are fierce economic rivals. Former US President Donald Trump launched a trade war with Beijing in 2018, with the two countries imposing steep tariffs and trade barriers on goods.

Mr Trump cited the huge trade deficit, alleged that Beijing is manipulating its currencies and raised concerns about coercive measures including forced technology transfers.

Concerns have also be raised about alleged human rights violations against Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang.

Earlier this year, the president of the Alliance of American Manufacturing industry body, Scott Paul, made strong comments about Tesla when the company opened a showroom in Xinjiang.

He told the BBC, “Any company doing business in Xinjiang is complicit in the cultural genocide taking place there. But Tesla’s actions are especially despicable.”

Rep Chris Stewart is seeking confidential briefings on Capitol Hill with officials from agencies including the National Reconnaissance Office, Fox Business reported.

“I am a fan of Elon Musk and SpaceX, but anyone would be concerned if there are financial entanglements with China,” the senior member of the House Intelligence Committee said.

“Congress doesn’t have good eyes on this.”

Mr Stewart is also investigating whether Chinese companies have invested in SpaceX — which is not publicly listed.

Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd bought five per cent of Tesla’s stock in 2017. It has since reduced its holdings in Tesla.

Florida’s Senator Marco Rubio told the wall street journal“Any company operating in China is going to be pressured and exploited by the Chinese Communist Party.

Mr Musk has often expressed his admiration for China and the Chinese people.

He recently wrote on Twitter that the, “economic prosperity that China has achieved is truly amazing, especially in infrastructure!”

“China rocks in my opinion,” he said on a podcast in 2020.

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