China’s House Committee Demands Elon Musk Open SpaceX Starshield’s Internet to US Troops in Taiwan

The House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party sent a letter to Elon Musk on Saturday asking US troops stationed in Taiwan to have access to SpaceX’s Starshield, a satellite communications network designed specifically for the military.

The letter, obtained by CNBC and first reported by Forbes, claimed that by not making the Starshield available to US military forces in Taiwan, SpaceX could be in violation of its contract with the Pentagon, which requires “ global access’ to Starshield technology.

“It is my understanding, however, that SpaceX may be withholding broadband Internet services in and around Taiwan — possibly in violation of SpaceX’s contractual obligations with the US government,” said the letter, signed by Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wi. . who chairs the KKK committee of the Parliament.

The Pentagon awarded SpaceX a one-year contract for Starshield in September, after awarding SpaceX’s Starlink network months earlier for Ukraine’s war against Russia, which reached two years on Saturday.

The letter comes after Gallagher led a visit to Taiwan, where he and a delegation of other lawmakers met with Taiwanese officials including President Tsai Ing-wen and President-elect Lai Ching-te.

The letter said lawmakers learned that U.S. troops stationed in Taiwan were unable to use Starshield despite the Pentagon’s global access clause: “Multiple sources have disclosed to the Committee that Starshield is inactive in and around Taiwan “.

The letter asks Musk to provide the House committee with an update on its operations in Taiwan by March 8.

Taiwan has governed itself independently from China since the island split from the mainland during a civil war in 1949. China has said it still claims Taiwan and has repeatedly made clear its intention to reunify the sovereign island with the mainland.

“In the event of a CCP military attack against Taiwan, US military personnel in the Western Pacific will be in grave danger,” the letter said. “Ensuring strong communications networks for U.S. military personnel in and around Taiwan is paramount to safeguarding U.S. interests in the Indo-Pacific region.”

of Tesla Success depends on favorable business relations with China, which has led Musk, its CEO, to cultivate friendly relations with the country despite its wider tensions with the U.S. Tesla operates its own factory in Shanghai, while other foreign automakers in China were invited to form joint ventures.

Musk came under fire from Taiwanese officials last September for seemingly espousing China’s reunification doctrine toward Taiwan, saying the self-ruled island was an essential part of China.

“I think I have a very good understanding as a foreigner of China,” Musk said All-In Podcast. “From their point of view, maybe it’s analogous to Hawaii or something, like an integral part of China that is arbitrarily not part of China.”

“Listen, #Taiwan is not part of the #PRC and certainly not for sale,” Taiwan Foreign Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu He wrote at X in response to Musk’s comment.

SpaceX and Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

Read the full letter here:

Read the original at

Related Posts