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China Commerce Minister, Musk Meet     05/31 06:13


   BEIJING (AP) -- China's commerce minister met Tesla Ltd. CEO Elon Musk on 
Wednesday and promised to support the development of foreign companies, the 
ministry said.

   Musk earlier met with China's ministers of industry and foreign affairs. He 
joined a series of CEOs from global companies, including Apple Inc., who have 
met with Cabinet officials or Premier Li Qiang, the top economic official, this 
year following the end of anti-virus controls that blocked most travel into 

   The ruling Communist Party is trying to revive investor interest in China's 
slowing economy and reassure companies that have been rattled by anti-monopoly 
and data-security crackdowns, raids on consulting firms, tension with 
Washington and pressure to align their plans with official development goals.

   The commerce minister, Wang Wentao, said Beijing will "support long-term, 
stable development of foreign-invested enterprises in China," according to a 
ministry statement.

   Musk "praised the potential of China's development" and expressed 
willingness to "deepen mutually beneficial cooperation," the statement said.

   The United States and China should "strengthen economic and trade dialogue 
and cooperation under the guidance of principles of mutual respect, peaceful 
coexistence and win-win cooperation," Wang was cited as saying.

   Earlier, Musk met with the industry minister, Jin Zhuanglong, and "exchanged 
views on the development of new energy vehicles and intelligent networked 
vehicles," the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on its 

   China accounts for half of global electric vehicle sales and is the site of 
Tesla's first factory outside the United States.

   Li, the premier, delivered a similar message of reassurance in meetings in 
March with CEOs Tim Cook of Apple, Albert Bourla of Pfizer, Jakob Stausholm of 
Rio Tinto and Toshiaki Higashihara of Hitachi.

   Tesla opened the first wholly foreign-owned auto factory in China in 2019 
after Beijing eased ownership restrictions to increase competition and speed up 
industry development.

   Tesla didn't respond to requests by email for information about Musk's visit 
to China.

   Musk also is the majority owner of social media platform Twitter, access to 
which is blocked in China by the ruling party's internet filters.

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