John Cena apologizes in Mandarin after referring to Taiwan as a ‘country’

Bumblebee Premiere

In The West Wing’s sixth season, there’s a kerfuffle because President Bartlett accidentally accepted a Taiwanese flag at the National Prayer Breakfast, leading to several days of diplomatic wrangling between the White House, the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan. Here’s a clip of Kate Harper giving CJ Cregg a primer on the flag issue:

Basically, China will freak out if anyone suggests that Taiwan is a separate country, or that Taiwan is not part of China. Enter John Cena, WWE star and Hollywood actor. Cena is currently promoting F9, the ninth Fast & Furious film, and he’s been doing a full-blown junket with wall-to-wall interviews. During an interview with a Taiwanese network, Cena referred to Taiwan as a “country.” Yeah. Cena had to apologize in Mandarin!

WWE wrestler turned movie star John Cena has issued an apology to China and his Chinese fans after referring to Taiwan as an independent country while promoting F9, the latest installment in the Fast & Furious franchise, on the Taiwanese broadcasting network TVBS.

Cena issued his mea culpa in fluent Mandarin, which he learned while trying to help the WWE break into the Chinese market. “Hello, China. This is John Cena,” he said in his apology video, translated from Mandarin to English. “I’m in the middle of Fast and Furious 9 promotions. I’m doing a lot of interviews. I made a mistake in one of my interviews,” he continued, without explicitly naming that mistake. Cena went on to stress the number of interviews he’s been doing and apologized profusely for his alleged error. “I love and respect China and the Chinese people,” Cena said. “I’m very, very sorry about my mistake. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I sincerely apologize. You must understand that I really love and respect China and the Chinese people. I’m sorry. Bye.”

Cena had received backlash primarily on Chinese social media, specifically the popular social networking app Weibo, for not identifying Taiwan as a part of China during one of his F9 promotional appearances, telling TVBS that Taiwan would be “the first country that can watch the film.” Cena’s apology video, also on Weibo, has more than 10,000 comments, many of which demand that Cena be more specific in his apology and say outright that Taiwan is a part of China. “Please say in Chinese that Taiwan is part of China. Otherwise, we won’t accept it,” commented one Weibo user, who has since received more than 3,200 likes on their message.

Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China, considers Taiwan to be a breakaway province and claims it as part of China, despite the fact that Taiwan is a self-ruled democratic island. As such, referring to Taiwan as its own country can be considered offensive on mainland China, where, as The New York Times states, “matters of sovereignty and territory are passionate issues driven by a strong sense of nationalism.” China’s growing importance and influence in the entertainment industry make this a particularly thorny issue for Cena, whose Fast & Furious franchise depends on China’s box office to be commercially successful.

[From Vanity Fair]

I didn’t have “WWE star causes international incident by referring to Taiwan as a country” on my 2021 bingo card, but here we are. From a crisis-management standpoint, I think it was smart for the producers to get him to make the apology in Mandarin and post it on Weibo, and I also understand why Cena doesn’t get specific about why he’s apologizing. If he explained why, it would probably be another international incident! I’m also kind of impressed that his Mandarin sounds so natural and unforced.

Premiere of Dolittle

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red.

Related stories

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

66 Responses to “John Cena apologizes in Mandarin after referring to Taiwan as a ‘country’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Lily P says:

    find me the spine.

    • cassandra says:

      They removed it in exchange for millions of dollars.

      Taiwan is a country 🤷‍♀️

      • clomo says:

        I’ve been there and it is! It has a distinct culture, people and borders and China needs to chill out about them and a few other “countries” I can think of.

    • Renata says:

      Most people can’t even stand up to their own boss but we expect a celebrity to stand up to the second most powerful country in the world and the second most important film market today? Being behind a keyboard is this eras dutch courage.

      • Lily P says:

        Edit to add: *I agree being behind a keyboard creates a false sense of security and confidence*

        But that doesn’t change the fact that I do not support his denial of the people of Taiwan’s human right to exist as an autonomous nation. He’s contributing to their oppression and as such should be called on it. Either stick by your morals and beliefs or don’t say anything to make a situation worse

      • Normades says:

        Exactly right Renata. The Chinese market is huge and he’s fronting an international blockbuster. He’s an actor and needs this audience for the kind of movies he’s doing. Of course he apologized.

        I’m also super impressed how natural his mandarin sounds. I’d be interested if a native speaker could chime in here and say what they think of it.

        Cena is a huge BTS fan and I’ve heard him speak a bit of Korean. He really does seam like a pretty smart guy.

      • Renata says:

        Lily P, firstly, you assume you know his morals when you say “stick to your morals”. It sounds like he simply didn’t know there was a dispute over Taiwan’s status. Most people don’t. Secondly, if you believe that the words of a wrestler/actor help or hurt the Taiwanese in their cause, you are more optimistic than I can process. Thirdly, his post returns him to a point of neutrality since he never explains what he’s apologizing for. Finally, I have a feeling people are confusing Taiwan with Hong Kong which is where the independence confrontations people saw came from. Taiwan’s government doesn’t want independence and in fact believes THEY are the rightful government over mainland China. It’s a far more complicated story and one that Westerners should be more thoughtful about before diving in on.

      • IMARA219 says:

        Renata, you said a whole word and I detect zero lies in your entire comment.

      • Sasha says:

        Renata, that was last time. Now what most Taiwanese want is to be able to call themselves as Taiwanese from the country Taiwan freely, for the country to be recognized officially and be able to participate in WHO etc as a proper country without any threats of war from CCP.

      • Hannah says:

        Renata: The indigenous people of Taiwan, and yes, they exist, and yes, I have met some of them through my work with the indigenous people of the Marianas, would indeed assert their independence. If you actually knew anything — which I’m guessing you do not — of the history of the indigenous peoples of the region, you would know China is a colonial occupying power. China has sought to stamp out the indigenous languages and traditions. The indigenous people are smaller in numbers and don’t have a giant army. It is disgusting to see an American so brazenly worship the almighty dollar over basic democracy. We are supposed to be better than that.

        And by the way. I lost a job for standing up to my bosses over criminal behavior. I’ve worked with indigenous delegations to the UN and with national commissions on decolonization. So you can save it about what you think a person does or does not do.

      • Anna says:

        And also, information is really obscured online, I’m sure deliberately so. It sounds like an innocent “mistake” (I put that in quotes because for those in Taiwan, it was correct, only for China is it a problem) for which he now has to backpedal in the face of bagillions of dollars at stake. A quick search lists Taiwan as a country. You have to parse a lot in order to get the full picture. Perhaps the producers didn’t realize that the actors would need full primers on the history and cultural politics in order to do their press. I’m not excusing but also I can see how with the information that’s out there plus Taiwanese people’s right to autonomy as a country, that such a “mistake” could be made.

      • KatianaD says:

        Renata You have old info, taiwan did come from the old rulers of China who fled (beaten by Mao and the CCP), that’s why it’s called “republic of China” on paper. But they don’t want to rule China now (obviously they don’t have a chance to either way) and they definitely don’t want China to invade their democratic nation. HK was separate and fought to keep rights. Taiwan is very separate and China has no say in anything they do, as long as they don’t say they are separate. Check out their female leader Tsaj Ing-Wen she’s amazing and there are pics of her with her cute cat. Why would anyone confuse TW with HK? Come on this is not an ignorant group. And the sad part is the ROC was badly beaten by the Japanese which weakened /reduced them to be beaten by the CCP who didn’t bother helping much against the Japanese invasion.

      • KatianaD says:

        I’m not a native speaker but am more comfortable speaking than he is. No it does not sound particularly “natural,” I don’t think he’s ever been immersed or, for example, dated a Chinese speaking woman, or spoken it regularly. However other celebrities actors and reporters regularly pronounce things completely wrong and he didn’t. Learning a language as a middle aged man is not easy, no matter where you’re from (women learn languages a little easier than men, the younger you are the easier and better you can learn, statistically.)

    • GrnieWnie says:

      two impressions:

      1) His Chinese is kinda weird. I guess that’s what happens when you learn it not around native speakers.

      2) He sounds like he’s a bit frantic when he’s speaking. Reads like rapid damage control. His fluency isn’t that high, I’d say maybe…mid-intermediate…so he likely really can’t get into that much detail. (I’d bet that his fluency might have contributed to this bc “country” is a common word in Chinese but “province” is less so). I saw Chinese commenters being like, “SAY EXACTLY THIS” lol good luck with that.

      Whole thing read like very quick damage control and not much thought behind it.

    • tealily says:

      Cena has always been and will always be a company man first. That’s how he got where he is.

  2. Mtec says:

    Anyone know how do the people in Taiwan feel about it?

    • BearcatLawyer says:

      They are used to this kind of nonsense from the PRC. But they are likely happy he referred to it as a country and did not specifically say that it is a breakaway province of the PRC in his apology video.

    • Julie says:

      I’m a first generation Taiwanese-American. My mother’s military family fled from China to Taiwan and my grandfather was a Colonel in the Taiwanese Army. My relatives are unfazed by the China/Cena conflict. China has maintained this position on its past territories for centuries. Taiwan is not a helpless nation; I don’t have time to get into it here, but Taiwan actually has a pretty sophisticated military force and American military experts believe that Taiwan could ward off a physical Chinese attack with little to no foreign assistance.

      On a more personal note: I honestly did not think the Mandarin was all that good. Cena clearly has worked hard at the language, and it shows, but there are a lot of tone inconsistencies. I also support Taiwan’s right to be an independent nation free of the Chinese government’s control. I am disappointed with my fellow Americans who are so willing to overlook this situation because Cena is “just some WWE guy”. It’s indicative of a larger problem in how we accommodate Chinas obsession with reclaiming their dynasty. If we support a free, democratic government, then we should support Taiwan’s independence

      • GrnieWnie says:

        haha yeah, I was going to point out some tone problems but then thought nobody cares, but here you are!

        He makes mistakes with tones on common words, like guojia. If you are around native Mandarin speakers, this is such a common word that you are very likely to get the tones right as you hear it so often. So, I think it shows that he’s been studying with little access to native speakers.

    • Noodle says:

      I’m Taiwanese born, Aussie raised. Went back regularly pre-COVID. The left-leaning DPP / Tsai Ing-Wen were voted in for good reasons; one of these is the fact they’re pro-independence. The vast majority would prefer never to go to war over this issue so they say maintain the status quo. But of course they’d prefer outright, formal independence and not be slapped back at every small and large event (showbiz, sports, etc), and have to be labelling themselves “Chinese Taipei.”

      It’s a very sad situation. Yes, the ROC (official name of Taiwan) resulted from Chiang Kai Shek fleeing China in 1949. But that doesn’t mean the Taiwanese don’t have their own identity. It’s as different as the US vs UK; they speak the same language with distinctly different accents (Mandarin). Ultimately, Taiwan’s a great place to visit, with friendly people and great food. One of the most liberal, democratic, and progressive countries in East Asia. Visit when you can!

      • Taiwanese says:

        The current Taiwanese President is a green party member, which seeks independence from China. She is the second only green party President. The last green party President was imprisoned for “corruption.” Trump caused a fuss when he accepted the Taiwanese president’s call because technically his acceptance of the call was a recognition that she was a representative of the country.

  3. Lemons says:

    I’m just impressed at his Mandarin. it seems that John does speak Chinese and has some level of fluency.

    • LaraW” says:

      Not a native speaker, but have lived in China (and a few other countries)— his apology was over the top and in my opinion, the tone was far, FAR from genuine. But I think he managed to pull off the “earnest white man, I made a mistake because I’m a dumb Westerner, I absolutely love China so please forgive me.” So kudos for that subversive behavior.

      In a country like China, subversion is sometimes the only way to protest.

      • Lemons says:

        Yeah, he doesn’t really provide a correction. He is saying sorry, and also I love the Chinese people and China.

  4. BearcatLawyer says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how unrelenting the PRC government and its people are on the issue of Taiwan. In the words of Elsa in Frozen, LET IT GO. The PRC has much bigger problems than a little democratically run island.

    • KatianaD says:

      They produce most of the worlds computer chips, and if China gets cut off that will be bad for China. The US is getting closer and closer to Tw and further from China so I can see why China is getting aggressive (in words and petty actions.) for anyone new to the subject who looks at social media for info I want to say that most western SM is banned in China so if you see any “local” native Chinese people with YT channels that is government allowed/sponsored propaganda, not organic opinion sharing . There are also a few white man “YT stars” that sold their souls to shill for the communist party, two that I can think of are Barrett and Nathan Rich. Maybe I’m expressing that wrong, they were not stars before going to China but built their following with the support of the govt there. It’s pretty weird

    • Noodle says:

      It’s a “face” thing. China wants to recover from its “sick man of Asia” history. Also a stealthier, more secret purpose is to use the Taiwan issue to distract from internal uprisings and identity politics (China has dozens of ethic groups, no?) and keep China united.

  5. Nanny to the Rescue says:

    Wikipedia says Taiwan is a country, tho, only that it’s formally called Republic of China.
    So he used one of the two names.
    Why is this even an issue?

    • BearcatLawyer says:

      It is pretty simple: Taiwan thinks it is an independent nation. China considers it a rogue province and has forced virtually all other countries in the world not to even remotely imply that Taiwan is its own country, much less recognize it diplomatically. Most people do not realize this, but the US and many other countries do NOT have embassies or consulates in Taiwan out of fear of angering the PRC by suggesting countries can have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan. The US operates the American Institute in Taiwan which functions as a de facto embassy without actually being a legal embassy.

      • GrnieWnie says:

        it’s a little deeper than that, tho.

        Taiwan was one of the founding members of the UN due to its alliance with Western powers in WWII (China was also allied with Western powers in WWII, but simultaneously experiencing a civil war between two parties who later went on to become the governments of China and Taiwan). It lost its seat on the UN Security Council in 1971 when the UN General Assembly expelled Taiwan to admit China, who then assumed Taiwan’s Security Council seat. That’s why China has one of the five permanent seats on the UNSC today.

        Basically, Taiwan was recognized by Western powers throughout the 1950s and 1960s as the sole legitimate representative for China to the UN because the US did not want to recognize the CCP and have a second communist power (in addition to the Soviet Union) on the Security Council. The US blocked attempts to expel Taiwan and admit China to the UNSC for years, but was eventually overcome.

        Taiwan was ultimately booted from the UN entirely and has attempted to rejoin continuously for decades. By rejoining the UN, Taiwan would receive formal legal status as a nation-state. It hasn’t succeeded. The US treats Taiwan as a country (nation-state) on a de facto basis, but not in law.

        Just another one of those fine geopolitical lines that governments dance. One thing is for sure: Taiwan would be a province of China if the US were not the predominant global power.

      • purdueswim says:

        You are absolutely right. I work for the New Zealand “office” here in Taipei, and under no circumstances can it be called an embassy. We are very careful to refer to work as the office; in fact, it’s known as the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office even though the work done is “embassy” related.
        I also thought there were tone mistakes in his speech, and I personally think he said important wrong. I didn’t hear zhongyao, I heard Zhong something else and it wasn’t in fourth tone. I study Chinese here as well but am not a native speaker.

  6. Lauren says:

    I would love if Taiwan can be its own independent country without China hovering over it’s back barking over anyone saying that Taiwan is a country and not a “the Republic of China”.

  7. Norman Bates' Mother says:

    Edit: I wanted to post it as a reply to the question: “Anyone know how do the people in Taiwan feel about it?” but I messed up.

    I’m a coordinator of the Asian Program at a Medical University in a European country and I have several hundred Taiwanese students and maybe 3 Chinese students. Taiwanese students want to be referred to as Taiwanese and their country as Taiwan, not China/Republic of China, but when the Chinese hear anything about Taiwan, they get angry. The biggest problem is that when they graduate, we need to notarize their diploma with supplements in both Taiwanese Representative Office (which is like a de facto embassy, but can’t be named that officially) and Chinese embassy. Students fill out authorization forms according to their morals and loyalty, so they write their nationality as Taiwanese, but the Chinese embassy doesn’t accept it and they are very angry about it. We had big problems because of that.

    So we actually needed to make a separation and we need to notarize two diplomas separately – one in the Taiwanese “embassy” and the other one in Chinese one and we need to fill all the documents for students ourselves. They give us permission to use their data, but they don’t want to do it themselves the way it needs to be filled. And also, if we wanted to do the notarization on one diploma, which could be perfectly acceptable and much cheaper, we would need to go to Chinese embassy first and then Taiwanese one later, because China doesn’t accept any document which has any stamps with Taiwanese Representative Office on it, so Taiwanese students prefer to pay more and don’t have to deal with the problems. But Taiwanese Representative Office is perfectly legal and my country recognizes it as an official legal representative of Taiwan even thouth they are scared of China and don’t have the balls to officially admit what’s obvious – that Taiwan is a country!

  8. Andrew’s Nemesis says:

    But Taiwan IS a country. Just because China has tried to bully the world into thinking otherwise, they cannot erase the incontrovertible fact that Taiwan is a country.
    He shouldn’t have apologised.

  9. Léna says:

    Several stories show that China will get any person fired if they dare to forget Taiwan on a map representing China or saying it’s not part of China. The fact that a celebrity has to do this apology is not surprising, the studio cannot let go of China as a market. Sad truth

  10. IMARA219 says:

    I’m impressed with Cena but then again I am always impressed by how he comports himself. If world leaders can cause an “international incident” by referring to Taiwan as a country I’m not pressed that John Cena chose to apologize. I’m sure his job/bosses told him to that’s basically what happens when you answer to someone else for your paycheck. I think it’s silly because geographically it’s a country. Sadly, politically, it’s the Republic of China. That’s a sad fact and reality. Maybe the hoopla will get politicians and social activities involved even more.

  11. Mina_Esq says:

    The commenters under his video demanding that he say that Taiwan is not a country and that it’s part of China are ridiculous. Cena is a celebrity, here to promote his movie rather than your oppressive politics and policy on Taiwan. The only reason i’m glad Cena apologized is because it’s in the interest of the people in Taiwan. I’m sure having China breathe down your neck and the prospect of an armed conflict are stressful enough without celebrities poking the bear. I still hate that our businesses have to kowtow to China. It’s not a democracy, but we are supposed to pretend that all is OK because we like the $ that we make from them. Bah! But yeah, impressed by Cena’s Mandarin.

  12. whateveryousay says:

    Yeah. Taiwan is a country and no I am not yelling at him for walking that back. He’s an actor. Not a diplomat.

  13. minime says:

    No, not impressed and not watching anything with him…and yes, you can all come and say “not a politician, not his job, blablabla” but he got involved in it in the first place. If he didn’t know about it, he should have informed himself better. This is a long lasting conflict and its apology must certainly not be funny or endearing for Taiwanese people, since it propagates the idea that everything is fine (as we see here in the comments). If this was another actor/actress not so well liked as him this text and comments would be much different.

  14. Willow says:

    I don’t blame him for this apology. China can only hurt him economically, maybe, but they will punish others to indirectly get revenge on him. Are there any actors or staff on this movie with citizenship or family ties to China? Because if there are, then that apology is probably to protect them.

    • IMARA219 says:

      Right on the money. There are Chinese actors who have to “disappear” themselves for putting a wrong foot forward and the Chinese government does not play games. I understand that John Cena is a US citizen but we can’t pretend that there are not hard repercussions for this type of behavior.

    • Anna says:

      Good point @Willow

    • KatianaD says:

      Willow, i appreciate that you’re bringing up disappearing and threatening others as those are some of the dictator’s favorite mean tricks to get people to fall in line. Don’t know this actor / wrestler but that’s a generous assumption given that he makes money from the movie being shown (and more from it being popular) in China. He could be altruistic but the obvious motivation is his pay checks

  15. Caffeine addiction says:

    My mum is from Taiwan she calls herself Taiwanese.
    I’m half Taiwanese and I am proud to tell people I am.

    My family and I have ever once said that we are Chinese or from China cus Taiwan is its own bloody country! 🇹🇼

    • Anners says:

      Amen! I just wanted to chime in because I lived in Taiwan for a year and I loved it there! The family of one of my students took me on a trip to the coast that faces China and explained a bit of the tense history between them and it made me aggressively defensive of Taiwan’s standing as a separate country. 🇹🇼💛 🇨🇦

  16. Evenstar says:

    Pathetic. The Chinese government commits genocide, oppresses and “assimilates” separate entities like Tibet, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, and restricts freedom of press, and other countries rely too much on them economically to do anything but look the other way.

    And the most people here have to say about it is “His Mandarin good.” GTFO

  17. Amelie says:

    Oh yeah, China is so darn sensitive when it comes to Taiwan. I knew about this issue because my mom has staff in Hong Kong and has been there on several business trips so she learned about what to say and what not to say in front of Chinese people. Cena most likely did not know about this and since he has business ties to China, he was forced to apologize. It doesn’t matter what he thinks of it privately, China is a behemoth he can’t afford to piss off. China is soooo territorial over land that supposedly “belongs” to them. It’s the same with Hong Kong and Macau.

  18. Tataro says:

    Ask any Taiwanese. They come from Taiwan, not China.

  19. ellie says:

    Taiwan is a country.

    That said I’m impressed by Cena’s Mandarin skills. I like him. I think he’s the kind of rare white American male who is actually curious about other cultures and makes an honest effort to understand and respect them.

  20. Kari says:

    First Ruffalo and now Cena (insert sigh). I mean I get the pressure on their careers but I’m just so tired of imperialists and their gaslighting.

    Let me go back and read about Bennifer for some escapism.

  21. Amanda says:

    I honestly don’t think he meant any harm. Still, good that he apologized.

  22. Annoyed says:

    Wow, a lot of people totally ignorant about the status of Taiwan in these comments. I’m a first generation Taiwanese-American and Taiwan is a country. A visa to visit China is not valid in Taiwan and vice versa. Taiwan is a democracy led by a whip-smart woman with a PhD from the University of London. Most Taiwanese people have never set foot in Mainland China. Taiwan has, unfortunately, been subject to colonial rule by various European and Asian countries, but it has existed as an entity separate from China since 1895, when the Japanese became its final colonizers. When Chiang Kai-shek and his Nationalist forces overthrew the Japanese in 1945, they terrorized the local ethnic Han population as well as the indigenous people on the island. The Taiwanese dialect was forbidden in schools. The current government evolved from the dictatorship established by Chiang but it is a separate government from that of China. I think there’s a lot of racism inherent in this idea that Taiwanese people are just Chinese people–all Asians look the same, amirite? Insisting that Taiwanese people are Chinese and that Taiwan is just a “breakaway province” is the same as insisting that the United States is a breakaway province from Great Britain and that Americans are all British. People accept that white people can have a European country of origin from way back, but believe them when they say they’re citizens of whatever country they live in now. But if a Taiwanese person whose family has lived in Taiwan for hundreds of years (like mine has) says that they’re Taiwanese, people try to gaslight them by telling them that they’re really just Chinese.

    • Andrew’s Nemesis says:

      @Annoyed Thank you for sharing your excellent explanation with us, and I’m not surprised that you’re infuriated by those in the thread that are saying ‘meh, not a diplomat’. Democratic rights should be fought for fiercely wherever possible, and Taiwan’s maintenance of a strong democracy in the face of Chinese oppression is truly admirable.

      • Annoyed says:

        Thank you! Between this BS and people in the US telling Asians they aren’t American, I’m ready to move to Mars.

    • Noodle says:

      @Annoyed, fellow Taiwanese here. Thanks for your post. 100% on point!

  23. Mia says:

    Ugh. It’s so disgusting that these people go through such pains to appease an oppressive government that is persecuting, enslaving, and committing genocide on its own people. I’m guessing he must have been forced to do this by the studio behind his movie. It’s only about the money for all of them. Terrible.

  24. The Recluse says:

    It’s been sickening how much people will cater to China’s demands:Tibet, Hong Kong, the Ughyurs (sp?) and now Taiwan. It has become a real problem abroad when more Chinese Nationals, likely Government people, throw their weight around in other countries against dissidents living abroad. So many reasons to deplore what is going on where the Chinese government is concerned.

  25. Lyds says:

    Can I just say how much I love and appreciate Celebitchy commenters and the community in general? This is one of the most discerning, educated group I have ever come across and I came here for the Royal/gossip coverage!

    Taiwanese here. Educated mostly overseas at British and American schools and about to get my green card (via marriage) soon because unlike the PRC, we can have dual citizenship!

    Almost everything everyone has said in these comments is correct. My father is a retired Taiwanese government official and I’ve had to deal with these conversations my whole life. I think the red elephant in the room is the only one who strongly denies that Taiwan is a country and everyone else is scared to correct it because it’s the second largest animal in the world. To belabor the analogy, everyone is not so secretly working behind the elephant’s back and Taiwan enjoys SO many privileges, international and domestic, that people in China can only dream about. We see Hong Kong and we know the One-Country Two Systems is a dangerous farce. Most ppl favor the status quo of “hush don’t tell China we’re democratic and free!” but if push comes to shove, we would prefer independence over becoming part of the largest autocracy in the world. Wouldn’t you?

    PS. I can’t wait to be a Taiwanese American. I love both COUNTRIES dearly and what they represent!

  26. adastraperaspera says:

    When I lived and worked in Luoyang, China in the 1990s, I was counseled to follow the hard and fast rule of never bringing up the three Ts. That would be Taiwan, Tibet and Tiananmen. And indeed, I constantly heard Chinese people fervently state that Taiwan was a province of China. As for Tibet, it was considered a land of backwards barbarians that the CCP were doing a favor to invade (same racist/genocidal attitude now applied to Uyghurs). This was all before the handover of Hong Kong had taken place, at a time when those of us working there had hopes that democratic ideals would take hold (Bill Clinton in his 1998 China visit said, “I have seen the fresh shoots of democracy growing in the villages of your heartland.”). However, just this week, Kurt Campbell, US coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs on the National Security Council, said there is now a new approach to China being implemented by the Biden Administration and “a period that had been broadly described as engagement has come to an end.” I think this is a good thing, because the CCP have made it clear that their primary goal is the takeover of not just independent Taiwan, but the globe. We must make it clear we will join with our democratic allies like Taiwan to push back against this authoritarian adventurism.