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  • Writer's picturejohn kepler

Dwight Howard Apologizes After Taiwan Promo Video

The video, which was published on Wednesday, has been viewed more than 400 million times on Weibo, China's social media platform


Former NBA star Dwight Howard has sparked outrage in China after he called Taiwan a "country" in a video promoting a contest to spend a night at the island's Presidential Office. The 37-year-old American, who now plays for the Taoyuan Leopards in Taiwan, made the remark alongside Taiwan's Vice-President Lai Ching-te, who also referred to Taiwan as a "free country".


The video, which was published on Wednesday, has been viewed more than 400 million times on Weibo, China's social media platform, where many users accused Howard of advocating "Taiwan independence". China considers Taiwan a breakaway province that must eventually be reunited with the mainland, by force if necessary.

Taiwan, however, views itself as a sovereign state with its own constitution and elected leaders. Howard's official Weibo account has been flooded by negative comments, and some Chinese media outlets have demanded an apology from him.

Taiwanese have also reacted to the row, with some praising Howard for his appreciation of Taiwan's democracy and freedom, and others expressing concern over the rising tensions with Beijing. The Global Times, a state-owned newspaper, wrote that Chinese people demanded an apology from Howard.


Howard later told local media: "If I offended anyone in China, anybody, you know, I apologise." This is not the first time a US basketball star has been caught in a row with China.

In 2021, Boston Celtics player Enes Kanter faced backlash after he called President Xi Jinping a "brutal dictator". China has also been increasing its military pressure on Taiwan in recent years, conducting frequent drills and flights near the island.

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