House Committee Urges SpaceX to Provide Starshield Access to U.S. Troops in Taiwan: Pentagon Concerns

The House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party dispatched a letter on Saturday to Elon Musk, urging that U.S. troops stationed in Taiwan be granted access to SpaceX’s Starshield, a satellite communication network tailored for military purposes.

The letter, which was initially disclosed by Forbes, asserted that by withholding Starshield from U.S. military personnel in Taiwan, SpaceX might breach its Pentagon contract, which mandates “global access” to Starshield technology.

“I understand, however, that SpaceX is possibly withholding broadband internet services in and around Taiwan — possibly in breach of SpaceX’s contractual obligations with the U.S. government,” read the letter, signed by Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wi., chair of the House CCP committee.

Letter alleges SpaceX may breach Pentagon contract
The letter alleges SpaceX may breach Pentagon contract by withholding Starshield technology.

SpaceX clinched a one-year contract for Starshield from the Pentagon in September, after deploying SpaceX’s Starlink network months earlier to aid Ukraine in its conflict against Russia, which reached the two-year mark on Saturday. The letter follows Gallagher’s visit to Taiwan, during which he and fellow lawmakers met with Taiwanese officials including President Tsai Ing-wen and President-Elect Lai Ching-te.

It disclosed that U.S. troops stationed in Taiwan were unable to utilize Starshield despite the Pentagon’s insistence on global access: “Multiple sources have disclosed to the Committee that Starshield is inactive in and around Taiwan.” The letter requested Musk to brief the House committee on its Taiwan operations by March 8. Taiwan has governed itself independently of China since splitting from the mainland during the 1949 civil war.

However, China maintains its claim over Taiwan and repeatedly expresses its aim to reunify the island with the mainland. “In the event of CCP military aggression against Taiwan, American servicemembers in the Western Pacific would be put at severe risk,” read the letter. “Ensuring robust communication networks for U.S. military personnel on and around Taiwan is paramount for safeguarding U.S. interests in the Indo-Pacific region.”

Musk urged to brief the House Committee on SpaceX
Musk urged to brief the House Committee on SpaceX’s Taiwan operations by March 8.

Tesla’s prosperity hinges on favorable business ties with China, prompting Musk, its CEO, to foster close relations with the country, despite broader tensions with the U.S. Tesla operates its factory in Shanghai, while other foreign automakers in China were previously required to establish joint ventures.

Musk drew criticism from Taiwanese officials last September for seemingly aligning with China’s stance on Taiwan’s reunification, stating that the self-governing island was an integral part of China. “I think I’ve got a pretty good understanding as an outsider of China,” Musk said on the All-In Podcast.

“From their standpoint, maybe it is analogous to Hawaii or something like that, like an integral part of China that is arbitrarily not part of China.” “Listen up, #Taiwan is not part of the #PRC & certainly not for sale,” Taiwan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Jaushieh Joseph Wu wrote in response to Musk’s comment.

Sajda Parveen
Sajda Parveen
Sajda Praveen is a market expert. She has over 6 years of experience in the field and she shares her expertise with readers. You can reach out to her at [email protected]
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