Former WWE champion turned actor John Cena Tuesday, took to his official Weibo account to apologise to his fans in China after he called Taiwan a “country” during an interview to promote his latest movie Fast & Furious 9.
“I made a mistake. I must say now that, very very very importantly, I love and respect China and Chinese people,” Cena said in the Mandarin language in the video, without elaborating further.
The apology video, however, triggered further anger on Chinese social media, where users denounced Cena for not stating that Taiwan was part of China.
“Unless you say in Chinese, ‘Taiwan is part of China,’ we will not accept your apology,” wrote one angry Chinese Netizen. While another social media user went on to call Cena “two-faced”. “When he’s in Taiwan Province he says it’s a country, when he’s in China he says he respects Chinese people. He’s two-faced and I don’t understand why Chinese people are so lenient with him,” wrote another Weibo user.
John Cena calls Taiwan a “country”, sparks outrage amidst Chinese social media users
While speaking to Taiwanese media house TVBS on May 8, Cena had said: “Taiwan will be the first country to see Fast & Furious 9. This movie is really great—and it’s huge.”
After Cena’s remark started drawing immense backlash on the Chinese micro-blogging site, the wrestler-turned-actor was seen taking a U-turn and rendering an apology to his Chinese fans.
Taiwan has a controversial political status
Taiwan, sometimes known as the Republic of China (ROC), is an island separated from mainland China, officially the People’s Republic of China (PRC) by the Taiwan Strait. The political status of Taiwan is controversial as there is no certainty as to whether it should be considered part of China, or if it should be its own territory, as a self-governing entity.
China has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949. Despite Taiwan having been independent for all practical purposes since 1950, the Chinese government likes to believe that Taiwan is a breakaway province, that will, eventually, be part of China again. And history has it that China has been unsparing towards anyone who has tried to cross China’s political lines.