Foreign Affairs

Prior to the key 20th Party Congress, Tesla poses a security risk for China

Beginning July 1, Tesla vehicles won’t be allowed in Beidaihe, a coastal area in China, where the Communist Party has a clandestine annual summer summit where significant personnel and policy matters are frequently discussed. In preparation for the 20th Communist Party Congress in Beijing, the top current and previous leaders of the Communist Party of China will gather for a 15-day retreat in the coastal town of Heibei province this year. Former leaders including Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao will speak with President Xi Jinping about the direction of the People’s Republic. As is customary, no outsiders or members of the media are allowed during the elders’ assembly in August.

Tesla owners have been instructed to submit an undertaking that reads, “I __ promise to undertake that from 1.7.2022 to 31.8.2022 I would not drive the car with plate number __ and enter Beidhaihe district or drive the car inside Beidaihe district,” according to a copy of the document obtained by Hindustan Times.

Tesla vehicle restrictions in Beidaihe, which were also reported by Reuters, came after Chengdu restricted them off some roads earlier this month, right as president Xi Jinping was visiting the city. More significantly, the Beidhaihe limits allow for a different perspective to be taken on the upcoming 20th Communist Party Congress, which will see ‘eternal leader’ Xi Jinping ‘elected’ to another five-year term and solidify his position of absolute authority within the government.

Generals who are devoted to him and have previously served with him have been added to the Central Military Commission, of which Xi is the chairman.

Why does China avoid buying Tesla cars?

The limits were enacted in response to China’s distrust of Tesla vehicles, which include eight cameras, millimeter-wave radar, and 12 ultrasonic sensors in the Model 3. Since Tesla automobiles were previously prohibited from military compounds, the Chinese government claims that these cameras represent possible security risks. External cameras are available in Tesla vehicles to help drivers with lane changes, parking, and other features.

Automakers are utilizing cameras more and more to help with navigation and parking, but controlling these images—their storage and use—is growing difficult for the sector and international authorities. Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, has said that his vehicles do not spy in China or anyplace else and that if they did, the business would be shut down.

Tesla later added that the photos and sensor data produced by the cars it sells in China will be stored there.

 

By TIS Staffer
the authorBy TIS Staffer

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