Kuya Kim reacts to John Cena’s apology after facing backlash over Taiwan ‘country’ comment

May 28, 2021 - 3:34 PM
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Kuya Kim and John Cena
Kim Atienza in this screengrab from his vlog uploaded to his YouTube account on May 8, 2021 (left) and John Cena on this photo shared on his official Facebook page on May 5, 2020 (right).

Television host Kim Atienza responded to wrestling star-actor John Cena who apologized for calling Taiwan a “country” when he recently visited the self-ruling island to promote his latest movie.

Atienza took Filipinos by surprise when he commented on a news article reshared by national broadsheet The Philippine STAR on Tuesday about the incident.

The article reported Cena apologizing on Weibo, a Chinese microblogging platform, using conversational Mandarin.

“I’m doing a lot of interviews. I made a mistake in one of my interviews. Everyone was asking me if I could use Chinese – [movie] staff gave me a lot of information, so there was a lot of interviews and information,” he was quoted as saying in a report by South China Morning Post.

“I made one mistake. I have to say something very, very, very important now. I love and respect China and Chinese people. I’m very, very sorry about my mistake. I apologize, I apologize, I’m very sorry. You must understand that I really love, really respect China and the Chinese people. My apologies. See you,” Cena added.

RELATED: Fast & Furious star John Cena apologizes for calling Taiwan a country

The wrestling star appeared on Taiwanese television TVBS earlier this month to promote his action movie “Fast and Furious 9,” where he said that it would be the first “country” to see the latest film in the franchise.

Cena’s comment has prompted a backlash in China, which considers Taiwan a part of its territory.

The self-governing island has been governed independently of China since 1949. It has its own democratically elected government but Beijing has vowed to eventually “unify” it with the mainland.

Meanwhile, this was how Atienza, whose wife is Taiwanese, responded to the news article reporting on Cena’s apology through a Facebook comment. He wrote:

“Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country Taiwan is a country … back to you guys.” 

Atienza also added a series of Taiwanese flags to emphasize his point.

(Screengrab of Kim Atienza’s comment on Facebook)

The television host on Twitter explained that his wife, Felicia Hung, is a Taiwanese. He added that their children are also half-Taiwanese.

According to a report, Hung was born in the Philippines to Taiwanese parents.

“My wife is Taiwanese and my kids are half. They have a country and it’s called Taiwan,” Atienza tweeted.

The TV host’s tweet has earned more than 7,600 likes on the microblogging platform so far.

Beijing believes that there is only “one China” and that Taiwan, which bears the official name “Republic of China,” is part of it.

Mainland China, meanwhile, is called the “People’s Republic of China.”

A report of the Council on Foreign Relations said that “most people in Taiwan” support its independent status from China.

“Even fewer express support for the unification of Taiwan with China. An overwhelming majority reject a ‘one country, two systems’ model, a sentiment that has grown as Beijing cracks down on Hong Kong’s freedoms,” it said.

“An increasing number of Taiwanese people feel more closely tied to Taiwan than to the mainland. More than 64 percent of the island’s residents regarded themselves as exclusively Taiwanese, a survey by National Chengchi University found in 2020,” the report added.