New Op-ed: The Space Force, China and its toady Elon Musk
The Space Force, China and its toady Elon Musk
China has openly acknowledged it wants to take over the world.
But its plans don’t end with world domination. China wants galactic dominance as well.
Beijing is using the same tactics it’s using on Earth to achieve its goal: systematically stealing foreign technology and buying influence in foreign corporations and governments.
Just as President Trump is determined to prevent China from taking over the world, he will ensure it doesn’t rule the stars.
To that end, the president has ordered the Pentagon to create a “Space Force,” equal in standing to the Air Force and other branches of the military.
Unfortunately, some American companies are not on the same page. Instead, they’re cozying up to China.
Beijing has never been subtle about pressuring U.S. companies to play ball with the Communist regime.
After the Trump administration announced it would cut off sales of American technology to Huawei – the cyber-espionage arm of the People’s Liberation Army disguised as a telecom company – Beijing warned U.S. tech companies they’d face “permanent consequences” if they complied with the administration’s policy.
In other cases, it seems companies don’t need to be pressured to bow down to the Forbidden City’s Red mandarins.
The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff blasted Google for working with China on artificial intelligence, a cutting edge technology that has military applications. (Meanwhile, Google refuses to work with the U.S. military.)
And Intel, the largest U.S. chipmaker, proudly says it works closely with Baidu, China’s national tech champion, to develop the next generation of computing. (Intel says it stays away from companies the U.S. identifies as national security risks.)
A management consultant who specializes in doing business in China describes the prevailing attitude in corporate C suites: “Unlike in China, U.S. companies aren’t beholden to the country and are not obligated in any way, shape, or form to be patriotic. They want to make money.”
This thinking takes human form in the person of Elon Musk, the owner of Tesla, the electric carmaker, and SpaceX, the aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company.
Tesla has benefited from hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies from U.S. taxpayers over the years. In the third quarter of 2018 alone, Tesla received $52.3 million in Zero Emission Vehicle tax credits and another $137.2 million in other credits, for a total of $189.4 million. In addition, each of the 200,000 electric cars it’s sold qualifies for a $7,500 subsidy from the federal government.
To return the favor, Musk guaranteed $320 million of tax revenue a year to the government – the government of China, that is.
That’s right, Musk gets hundreds of millions of dollars from U.S. taxpayers and gives them to Beijing.
That’s just part of the deal he made to build a high-tech factory in China.
Musk also promised to turn over the technology and the factory itself to Beijing’s corrupt Communist regime if he fails to deliver their annual ransom payment.
This is truly mind-boggling. What is Elon Musk doing investing in China?
Another day, another story of espionage and extortion by China to acquire the technology and resources it needs to undermine the U.S. and Western democracies.
And yet Elon Musk rushes into a technology giveaway deal just as virtually every other foreign company in China is heading for the exits.
While Musk is more than happy to share his technological crown jewels with the Chinese Communist Party, he’s surprised the Pentagon doesn’t want to pay him to do it.
And that’s what this has to do with the space race.
Musk is now suing the Air Force because it didn’t give him a contract to launch American military and spy satellites.
It seems Musk’s appetite for U.S. tax dollars is insatiable.
Pro-tip for space cadet Elon: If you want America to invest in you, invest in the country that helped you become a billionaire.
-Curtis Ellis is Senior Policy Director for America First Policies.