Elon Musk warns China’s economic growth could leave the US in the dust

Elon Musk warns China’s economic growth could leave the US in the dust

Billionaire Tesla boss Elon Musk made a bold prediction this week about China’s growth, indicating that it could double or even triple the size of the United States’ economy in the years ahead.

Musk, whose electric car firm operates a factory in Shanghai and plans to open a second facility there in the future, argued that China’s economy is the “new kid on the block” that will reshape the global landscape if America falls too far behind.

“What we’re going to see with China, for the first time that anyone can remember who’s alive, is an economy that’s twice the size of the US, possibly three times the size of the US and it’s going to be very weird living in that world,” Musk said during an appearance on Monday’s episode of the “All In” podcast.

The US economy remains the largest in the world at present, with a gross domestic product of approximately $23 trillion in 2021. But China’s GDP has surged in recent years and reached $14.72 trillion through the end of 2020, according to World Bank data.

Tesla vehicles in factory
Tesla plans to open a second facility in Shanghai.

Musk argued that infighting within the US is complicating the country’s difficult task of keeping pace with China’s economic growth.

“We better stop the infighting in the US and stop punching ourselves in the face – because there’s way too much of America punching itself in the damn face, which is just dumb – and think about like, hey, we’ve got to be competitive here.”

“We better step up our game and stop infighting,” Musk added.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk said Americans need to “step our game up.”

Musk has been effusive in his praise of China’s workers – telling the Financial Times earlier this month that the country has “a lot of super-talented, hard-working people.” He added that he expects China to produce “very strong companies” that will compete with Tesla in the electric vehicle sector.

At the same time, Musk noted that in America, “people are trying to avoid going to work at all.”

Musk’s extensive business dealings in China have prompted concern among US lawmakers, with some questioning whether the Chinese government could gain access to classified information on SpaceX, a federal government contractor.

Elon Musk at Tesla factory in Shanghai
Tesla operates a factory in Shanghai.

Musk’s call for an end to internal bickering in the US came during ongoing negotiations for his potential acquisition of Twitter.

The billionaire has pledged to make the social media app “as inclusive as possible,” though his bid has raised the ire of left-leaning employees and pundits who argue his emphasis on free speech will lead to more hateful or abusive content.

This week, Musk has signaled he could back out of the $44 billion deal due to his unanswered questions about the extent of Twitter’s bot problem.

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