TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Following Tesla, Inc. CEO Elon Musk’s suggestion to turn Taiwan into a Chinese special administrative zone, Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said Wednesday (Oct. 12) the military will definitely not buy any more Tesla vehicles.
In an interview with the Financial Times, the business leader said a conflict in the Taiwan Strait could be avoided if Taipei accepted a “more lenient version” of the formula China already applied in Hong Kong. The comment ignited a storm of condemnation in Taiwan, while Beijing changed its position from rejection to approval.
At a legislative committee session Wednesday, defense officials said the military operated seven Tesla electric vehicles (EVs) used for regular administrative affairs, UDN reported.
As each of the cars is equipped with eight cameras relaying footage back to the company in the United States, prior to Musk's comments, the camera function had to be turned off both inside and outside military areas, according to officials.
The military said its decision to buy the EVs had been based on the government’s environmental policies, but there were no plans to buy any more Teslas. Chiu emphasized that once a purchase caused concern or discomfort, it would be halted or banned.