Well, apparently ABBA sang English phonetically, so why not Jon Bon Jovi today?
The song goes back to the 1970s, and is best known as being performed by Teresa Teng. Her ballads have been cited as helping spread pop music in Communist China, an art form otherwise widely suppressed.
Jovi’s band is headed to China in the Fall of 2015, so maybe there is some commercial calculation going on here. But the calories burned just to sing okay in Mandarin… might that indicate some sincerity to reach not just into the wallets, but out to the hearts, of a lot of Chinese people?
Cross-cultural sensitivity is a challenging field. One can offend trying to speak a foreign tongue, however well-intentioned. A minor controversy for Jovi is that Teng is Taiwanese, and many feel this song is, too. Yet, China doesn’t recognize an independent Taiwan (see A-Mei).
Still, it is just a love song!