Conjecture rises on Elon Musk’s post of ancient Chinese poem, including Taiwan question
Published: Nov 02, 2021 03:22 PM
Elon Musk. Photo: VCG

Elon Musk. Photo: VCG

Tesla CEO Elon Musk posted an ancient Chinese poem about two royal brothers who fought out of jealousy, on both Twitter and Sina Weibo on Tuesday, a rare move that has raised conjecture of oblique meanings as well as banters from netizens. 

Titled with the English word "Humankind," Musk's post was followed by a well-known poem written in Chinese dubbed "Quatrain of Seven Steps." 

The poem is believed to have been written by Cao Zhi (192-232), a prince of the state Wei in the Three Kingdoms period (220-280) of Chinese history. He was also the younger brother of Cao Pi, the emperor of Wei at that time. 

According to a historical legend, Cao Pi was initially an underdog during the race for the throne. After winning the race, Cao Pi had sought opportunity to kill Cao Zhi, a brother regarded as more talented than him. Cao Pi asked Cao Zhi to compose a poem within seven footsteps to explain his innocence and why his life should be spared.

The poem uses beans and stalks, which are born from the same roots, as a metaphor for brothers who share the same blood. It also uses stalks and beans to imply the contentious relationship between Cao Zhi himself and Cao Pi, who brutalized his younger brother for the power.   

The post of the world's richest man has received over19,600 comments on Twitter and 4,000 comments on Weibo, five hours after posting. It is still unclear what Musk's implying through the poem. Some people believe it has something to do with UN's calls for donations. 

Last week, the director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) David Beasley called on world's top billionaires to donate money to help save millions of people who are at the risk of starvation. 

Coincidentally, after Musk posted the Chinese poem, he said in another Weibo post that "if WFP can describe exactly how $6B will solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla stock right now and do it." He said the same thing in a Twitter thread. 

Citing some online commentators, Bloomberg said Musk may also be pointing to the rivalry between cryptocurrencies Dogecoin and Shiba Inu. Shiba Inu coins rose 6 percent in 24 hours to $0.00007, while Dogecoin fell 2.65 percent to $0.269007 in 24 hours, according to the CoinDesk data.

Many Chinese netizens were excited about the billionaire's rare move of using the Chinese poem that they are familiar with. 

"Does Musk know something about the Taiwan question?" said a Weibo user, referring to the rising tension across the Taiwan Straits.

"You should name this poem 'humanbeans,'" said another Weibo user. 

Maybe he just wanted to show off how good his Chinese is, which he believes it is cool, said another. 

Global Times