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Elon Musk Needs China. China Needs Him. The Relationship Is Complicated.

With the U.S. tightening technology exports to China in 2018, President Xi Jinping defiantly pledged to make China the world’s future innovation and industrial center. Key to his plan was Elon Musk.

Mr. Xi viewed the South African-born entrepreneur as a technology utopian with no political allegiance to any country, according to officials involved in policy-making, and saw his Tesla Inc. as a spearhead that could make China a power in new-energy cars.

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