In today’s Random Event of the Day, American jazz saxophonist Kenny G was spotted in Admiralty, much to the excitement of protesters and Hongkongers at large, and much to the irritation of Beijing. Meddling foreigner!
The G himself confirmed his presence on Twitter, writing “in Hong Kong at the sight of the demonstration. I wish everyone a peaceful and positive conclusion to this situation” and posting a photo of him posing in front of the protsts.
(Oct. 23 update: He’s deleted the Tweet and declared that he doesn’t support the protests.)
Only hours later Beijing made unsurprisingly stern comments about his visit, the first made by any foreign celebrity so far (at least publicly).
“Kenny G’s musical works are widely popular in China,” said a government spokeswoman. “But China’s position on the illegal Occupy Central activities in Hong Kong is very clear.”
“We hope that foreign governments and individuals speak and act cautiously and not support the Occupy Central and other illegal activities in any form,” she continued.
Perhaps the central authorities felt obligated to comment on the matter due to Kenny G’s weird place in Chinese culture: his 1989 song “Going Home” has become the unofficial Chinese anthem for any time a school, mall, train station or even a gym closes in China. The song’s smooth saxxy notes are instantly recognisable to millions of Chinese, who all know it signifies that it’s time to, well, go home.
A few days ago, CY Leung hinted at “external forces” interfering with the protests. The Chinese media has accused the Americans of orchestrating the protests, and also claimed that the Canadians are using rock band Nickelback to foment revolutions in Asia… Maybe they’re right. Who knows what Kenny G is hiding in all that hair?!
Photo: Elizabeth Joseph
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