Fast & Furious 9 star John Cena's timely apology an example for other Western stars to follow
Published: May 26, 2021 11:04 PM
John Cena Photo: CFP

John Cena Photo: CFP

US actor and WWE star John Cena's apology for falsely indicating that the island of Taiwan is a country has been seen by some Western media outlets as surrendering to the RMB, but this is a completely incorrect take. Cena's timely apology reveals his willingness to uphold the values of China and actually sets a good example for all Westerners to follow when it comes to respecting and learning more about China's national situation, especially its inviolable territorial integrity.

Cena made a mistake, but his attitude in correcting this mistake is something other Westerners, especially Hollywood stars, should learn from and follow. 

Obviously, the best course of action is to not make such mistakes, which stars can easily do if they would learn more about China beyond the minimum they need to promote their projects here. In the end, this is a matter of respect. 

Cena has clearly shown this respect in the past. In an interview, Cena said he has studied Chinese for several years and that he insists on communicating with Chinese fans in Putonghua in videos and posts on social media platforms. This clearly demonstrates his love of Chinese culture and his respect for the country and its people. 

That's why his apology was quickly accepted by some Chinese netizens even though he made the great mistake of referring to the island of Taiwan as a "country" in a recent promotional video for his latest film Fast & Furious 9.

Cena showed that he realizes the importance of respecting the one-China principle, which is a red line for Chinese people, and also demonstrated that he knows how important the Taiwan question is to the people of China by quickly apologizing for his mistake. His timely response is why the mistake has not tarnished his image too much in the eyes of Chinese fans.

When responding to the star's apology on Wednesday, Zhu Fenglian, a spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, reiterated that Taiwan has always been a part of China, a fact well-known around the world, and that adherence to the one-China principle is the international consensus.

Apologizing for making such a mistake is not kowtowing to the Chinese market, but a response that adheres to the consensus of the international community.

"I must say that now, very importantly, I love and respect China and the Chinese people," Cena said in Putonghua in his apology video.

"To be honest, he started learning Chinese in 2010. At that time, he had no business in China at all. From his previous interviews, you can see that he really likes China. I am not trying to cover his mistake, but want to say he's different from other foreign actors who are afraid to respond or have different political views," one Chinese netizen commented under Cena's apology video on Sina Weibo.