- Tesla CEO Elon Musk met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.
- Li said he hoped Tesla could be “a promoter of the stability of Chinese-US relations” in a sign that the two countries’ trade war may be thawing.
- Tesla kicked off the construction of its new $US2 billion Gigafactory in China this week.
Elon Musk is on a charm offensive in China – and his latest meeting may be a sign that trade hostilities between the US and China are thawing.
After beginning construction on Tesla’s new $US2 billion Gigafactory in China this week, Musk met with Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday in Beijing at the Great Hall of the People.
The pair posed for photographs and made short press statements as part of the meeting. It came against the backdrop of three days of talks about a trade deal between Washington and Beijing.
There are signs are that negotiators may have reached a preliminary agreement, and Li bolstered this theory by saying he hoped Tesla could become an “a promoter of the stability of Chinese-US relations.”
“We’re incredibly excited to break ground on the Shanghai Gigafactory,” Musk added.
Some White House advisers have been pressing for a speedy end to the trade war to help soothe recent volatility that has gripped markets, Bloomberg reported. US President Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday that “talks with China are going very well!”
But if hostilities continue, Tesla’s new Gigafactory could help the carmaker sidestep retaliatory tariffs.
Tesla announced in October that it was accelerating construction on the Chinese factory as tariffs of up to 40% were making it uncompetitive in China. In November, it cut the price of its cars in China to balance costs to customers.
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