Tesla CEO Elon Musk has landed in Beijing, China this morning on his first visit to the country in three years (since before the pandemic). The billionaire has met the country's Foreign Minister Qin Gang in the Chinese capital, among other senior officials and CATL founder Zeng Yuqun.
Besides meeting Chinese senior officials and business leaders, Musk plans to visit Tesla's Shanghai factory, Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with the matter.
During the meeting with Elon Musk, China's Foreign Minister Qin Gang said China will create a better market-oriented business environment for enterprises from all countries, including Tesla.
The minister added that China will continue to unswervingly promote high-level opening-up and strive to create a better international business environment, according to a statement from the Chinese foreign ministry.
"China welcomes Mr. Musk and other leaders from the business community to have a better understanding of China and promote mutually beneficial cooperation," Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Mao Ning said on Tuesday in Beijing.
"We would like to see foreign investors operating in China, exploring the Chinese market and sharing in the dividends of the development of China," she added.
Musk reportedly said the interests of China and the US are intertwined, according to a government statement, which also cited him saying that Tesla opposes decoupling from China and is willing to keep expanding in the country.
According to Bloomberg, Elon Musk also seeks to meet China's Premier Li Qiang to discuss automated-driving technology that Tesla is seeking to introduce in China. A meeting between Musk and with China's No. 2 hasn't been confirmed yet.
The Tesla CEO's visit to China comes as Tesla is reportedly nearing the final stages before starting trial production of its revamped Model 3 in Shanghai in a bid to compete more effectively with Chinese rivals.
Tesla's Gigafactory Shanghai accounted for more than half of the company's global production in 2022, and can now build as many as 1.1 million vehicles a year. The US EV maker contributed almost one-quarter of Shanghai's total automotive production value last year.
Local authorities in Shanghai have pledged earlier this month to continue to develop ties with Tesla through autonomous driving and robot modules.
Musk's visit to China comes at a time when relations between China and the United States are at the lowest moment since 1972, when former President Richard Nixon's visit to Beijing helped re-establish diplomatic ties between the two nations.