John Cena has apologised for his recent blunder concerning Taiwan after being slammed by China.
The 44-year-old actor and WWE star ended up angering China after describing Taiwan as a country during a promotional vid for the upcoming Fast and Furious 9 movie.
Taiwan is in fact a self-governed island state separated from the Chinese mainland by the Taiwan Strait, and is regarded by Beijing as a breakaway province rather than an independent state.
Cena made the controversial comments during an interview with Taiwanese broadcaster TVBS, during which he remarked that Taiwan was set to be the first ‘country’ to watch the latest instalment of the Fast and Furious franchise.
Cena, who has reportedly spent many years learning Chinese, said:
Taiwan is the first country to see the Furious 9, this movie is very good, a lot of this movie, but you’re the first to see this movie.
These comments sparked a fierce backlash in China, with many calling for him to apologise for his blunder.
Now Cena has made an apology via a video shared on Chinese social media site Weibo, in which gave the following message in Chinese:
I made one mistake, I must say right now, very important, I love and respect Chinese people. I am very sorry for my mistake. I am so sorry, I apologise.
However, not every is happy with Cena making an apology video, with one person tweeting:
I really want John Cena to understand by denying Taiwan is a country he is also denying the cultural identity and experience of Taiwanese.
Taiwan is their home, not to mention what China is doing is colonization. He should apologize to Taiwan. Truly.
Taiwan is a country, @JohnCena. A free one, unlike the PRC. It’s also not committing genocide.
You should be ashamed of yourself. Was your career worth your self-respect?
Cena has many fans in China, including more than 600,000 followers on Weibo. Having studied Chinese for many years, Cena will often post clips on the platform in which he promotes his movies in Chinese.
Beijing regards any suggestion that Taiwan is an independent state as crossing its ‘red line’, and has increasingly been attempting to use its economic might to control speech on this topic around the world.
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