China committee demands SpaceX provide internet to U.S. troops in Taiwan

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, recently spoke at the Atreju political convention organized by the Fratelli d'Italia party in Rome on December 15, 2023. Following this event, the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party sent a letter to Musk demanding that U.S. troops stationed in Taiwan be given access to SpaceX's Starshield satellite communication network, which is designed specifically for military use.

The letter, signed by Rep. Mike Gallagher, expressed concerns that SpaceX may be withholding broadband internet services in and around Taiwan, potentially violating its Pentagon contract which requires "global access" to Starshield technology. The Pentagon had awarded SpaceX a one-year contract for Starshield in September, following the commissioning of SpaceX's Starlink network for Ukraine's war against Russia.

Gallagher, along with a delegation of other lawmakers, visited Taiwan and discovered that U.S. troops stationed there were unable to use Starshield despite the Pentagon's requirement for global access. The letter requested that Musk provide the House committee with a briefing on SpaceX's operations in Taiwan by March 8.

The issue of Taiwan's sovereignty is a complex one, with China claiming the island as its own and expressing intentions to reunify it with the mainland. Musk's previous comments seemingly siding with China's stance on Taiwan have sparked criticism from Taiwanese officials.

As of now, SpaceX and Musk have not responded to the letter from the House committee. The situation is still developing, and updates will be provided as more information becomes available.


More from Press Rundown