When an American business builds technology or weapons for the Department of Defense (DOD), it is VITAL that the company holds to American geopolitical interests. SpaceX (owned by Elon Musk) has such a contract with the DOD. They are supposed to be working towards assisting the United States in combating China in the upcoming space race (see my September 5th post). China has made many strides towards space dominance and they must be challenged.
Elon Musk has been getting uncomfortably close with China. Musk traveled to Shanghai to participate in the World Artificial Intelligence Conference. As the only American invited, he spoke with Chinese leadership and debated Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba (the Chinese competition to Amazon). According to CNN Business, Musk is receiving a 10% purchase tax break on his Tesla vehicles in China. Tesla has plans for a massive production facility in mainland China. A manufacturing plant currently underway by Tesla is making history: it’s the first time China has allowed a foreign car manufacturer to create a plant in their country without a local partner.
The United States is trying to pressure China because of their currency manipulation, intellectual property theft and aggression on trade. Having an American company help the Chinese when we are effectively in a trade war is a problem. Plus, Musk’s SpaceX holds DOD contracts. This is a huge conflict of interest and a threat to national security. Musk’s friendliness with China and its interests is disconcerting. The DOD should stop working with SpaceX if Musk continues in this ideological direction.