First John Cena and now Japan: China triggered by references to Taiwan as a ‘country’

Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, June 11, 2021

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga this week highlighted Australia, New Zealand, and Taiwan as countries which handled the Covid crisis well.

China went into meltdown mode over this alleged affront to its sacrosanct sovereignty.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga / Wikimedia Commons

Why? Because the Chinese Communist Party that thinks it owns China claimed Suga had broken Japan’s “long-standing promise not to regard Taiwan as a country,” China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a daily press briefing on Thursday.

China expresses its “strong dissatisfaction with the erroneous remarks” and has “lodged solemn representations” with Tokyo, Wang said. “China demands that Japan make an immediate clarification to undo the harm already caused, and guarantee a similar incident will never happen again.”

Wang insisted that Taiwan “concerns the political foundation of China-Japan relations” while calling on Tokyo to “earnestly keep its promise, be cautious with its words and actions, and not to damage China’s sovereignty in any way.”

Sovereignty? Wang did not refer to China’s frequent challenges to the sovereignty of most of its neighbors including Japan, India, Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam and others.

The Chinese-Taiwan controversy reached the United States last month when wrestler-turned-actor John Cena apologized to the communist government in China for referring to Taiwan as a country prior to the release of the movie “F9”.

“Hi China, I’m John Cena. 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. 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 said in a video posted to the Chinese social network Weibo. “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.”

Tokyo officials often refer to Taiwan as a “region” instead of a country, but Japanese officials have recently started a trend of referring to Taiwan as a country.

At the same legislative session in which Suga referred to Taiwan as a country, opposition leader Yukio Edano, of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, used the word “country” when mentioning Taiwan, reports say.

On June 3, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi referred to Taiwan as a “country” while discussing Tokyo’s donation of 1.24 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses.


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