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.
- “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.
- 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.