The CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, told the Chinese Foreign Minister, Qin Gang, that he is willing to expand his business in the Asian state, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing announced on Tuesday, after the meeting between the two, reports Reuters, quoted by Agerpres.
The meeting came hours after Musk arrived in Beijing on an unannounced visit, his first trip to the Asian nation in three years. He would meet with high-ranking Chinese officials and visit the Tesla factory in Shanghai.
Musk also told Qin that he opposes decoupling the economies of the US and China, according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry in Beijing.
“The interests of the United States and China are intertwined, like Siamese twins, inseparable from each other,” Musk said.
Tesla representatives did not respond to requests for comment on Musk’s trip, itinerary or statements attributed to him.
Musk owns the social media platform Twitter, which is banned in China, although some people have access through virtual private networks (VPNs). He did not refer to Twitter after arriving in China.
Qin told Musk that the Chinese state is determined to improve the business environment for investors, including Tesla, and used an elaborate metaphor to describe US-China relations.
“We must step on the brakes in time, avoid dangerous driving and be adept at using the accelerator,” Qin said, according to a statement from the Beijing Foreign Ministry.
China is Tesla’s second largest market after the United States, the Shanghai factory being the largest production unit of the American company.
The visit would take place at a time when Tesla is facing multiple problems, including intensifying competition from Chinese automakers, as demand in the world’s largest auto market declines.
Tesla has not updated plans to increase production by 450,000 vehicles a year at its Shanghai factory, although it announced in April that it would build a factory in Shanghai to make energy storage products.