John Cena Apologizes on Weibo for Calling Taiwan a Country

Actor and wrestler John Cena recently apologized to China for saying Taiwan is the “first country” to watch “F9” in an interview with TVBS in early May.

Apology video: In his video post on Weibo on Tuesday, the 44-year-old celebrity admitted he “made a mistake” during one of his interviews for the movie, according to the New York Times.

  • “I must say that now, very importantly, I love and respect China and Chinese people,” he said in Mandarin, as translated by Global Times.
  • Cena narrated that the “F9” crew gave him a lot of new information but that he had made an error.

A brief history: Chinese Nationalist politician Chiang Kai-shek fled to Taipei to set up a rival government after the Chinese Civil War in 1949, USA Today reported.

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  • Although it has developed into a “vibrant democracy” over the decades, Taiwan never achieved full independence from China.
  • China continues to claim the self-governing island as part of its territory. The country also blocked Taiwan from joining the World Health Organization’s 194-member assembly.
  • China made threats to annex Taiwan, by force if necessary.

Reaction to his apology: While some of his fans accepted his apology, others were critical of his sincerity.

  • “It’s the western political correctness. he wants Chinese people to forgive him but he also doesn’t want to offend idiot Taiwan and the West,” one comment said, according to NBC News.
  • “Some of the comments here are really too aggressive. I think we should sit down and chat about it in a less intense way,” another user said. “Foreigners don’t necessarily know China’s politics, just like we don’t necessarily know their politics.”
  • “As Cena said, he is given a lot of information every day, so it’s possible that in the interview in Taiwan, he was deliberately given the wrong information and made a slip of the tongue… but at least he came up and corrected his mistake, rather than hiding and not responding to it,” one Weibo user wrote.

Featured Image (left) via Weibo, (right) via The Howard Stern Show

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