Tesla CEO Elon Musk wrapped up a high-stakes visit to China on Thursday. This was his first trip to the world’s second-largest economy in three years with China being a key production center for his electric car company.
While Musk has become an increasingly divisive figure among Western leaders, his visit to China was anything but hostile, with state media praising his business practices and commitment to Chinese businesses amid high tensions with the U.S.
China’s state wire updated the public on Musk’s meetings with top-level foreign affairs and economic bureaucrats and highlighted his perspective on the Chinese market.
“Musk praised the vitality and potential of China’s development,” the agency wrote. “He is full of confidence in the Chinese market and is willing to continue to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation.”
The state tabloid tweeted a promotional video that was first posted by Tesla’s Weibo account, Business Insider reported. In the video, Musk praises the Chinese workers employed at Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory.
Considered the mouthpiece of the Communist Party, People’s Daily wrote about Musk’s opposition to business restrictions between U.S. and China.
“Musk said that the interests of the United States and China are intertwined and inseparable,” the paper wrote. “Tesla opposes ‘decoupling and breaking chains,’ and is willing to continue to expand its business in China and share China’s development opportunities.”
The newspaper noted how it is “no coincidence” that other major CEOs, including JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon and Starbucks’ Laxman Narasimhan, scheduled visits to China immediately after Musk.
“At a time when Sino-US relations seem to be on the verge of a cold spring, Musk’s visit to China and his statement are of great symbolic significance,” Beijing Daily’s article read. ”[Beijing Daily] has noticed that more and more ‘Musks’ are making efforts to invest and operate in China.”
Musk concluded the trip with a visit to Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory, which the CEO hopes to expand with a multimillion investment. China currently accounts for 50% of all Tesla sales and 20% of production output, according to CNBC.
Investors appeared optimistic with Musk’s visit, boosting Tesla’s stock and momentarily helping Musk reclaim the world’s richest person title on the Forbes index.
While both U.S. and Chinese lawmakers and business leaders have expressed interest in thawing tense relations between the world’s two largest superpowers, military talks remain at a standstill.