Not content kicking one hornet's nest, Elon Musk just suggested to the Financial Times that tensions between China and Taiwan could be resolved by handing over some some control to Beijing - which would consider the island of 23 million people a "special administrative zone" similar to Hong Kong.
"My recommendation… would be to figure out a special administrative zone for Taiwan that is reasonably palatable, probably won't make everyone happy," Musk said while responding to a question about China, where his company Tesla operates a super factory in Shanghai.
Beijing considers Taiwan a breakaway province of China that they will eventually reclaim, either through diplomacy or by force. China has offered Taiwan a "one country, two systems" model of semi-autonomy similar to Hong Kong, which has been rejected by mainstream Taiwanese political parties.
"And it's possible, and I think probably, in fact, that [Taiwan] could have an arrangement that's more lenient than Hong Kong," Musk continued.
Beijing imposed a tough National Security Law on Taiwan in 2020.
In response, a senior lawmaker for Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party, Wang Ting-Tu, hit out on Facebook- writing: "Individual independent companies cannot take their ownership as a joke. So why should they casually pass off the democratic freedoms, sovereignty and way of life of 23 million Taiwanese?"
"Musk needs to find a clear-headed political adviser," according to one senior Taiwanese official in a statement to Reuters. "The world has seen clearly what happened to Hong Kong… their economic and social vibrancy abruptly ended under Beijing's totalitarian rule."
Beijing was mum on Musk's statement - with the Chinese foreign ministry saying that Taiwan was a "domestic affair" (aka 'mind your own business').