He just took a leisurely walk in Hong Kong, and now it looks like he’s in trouble in China.
American saxophonist Kenny G on Thursday denied that he was supporting the pro-democracy protests in the territory after Beijing warned him that Occupy Central is an illegal campaign.
Beijing’s warning came after pictures of the musician and several fans at a protest site in Admiralty were posted on his Twitter account on Wednesday.
Writing on his Facebook page, Kenny G, whose real name is Kenny Gorelick, said: “I am not supporting the demonstrators as I don’t really know anything about the situation and my impromptu visit to the site was just part of an innocent walk around Hong Kong.
“I love Hong Kong and always come here to perform when I’m asked to. I love China and love coming here to perform for over 25 years,” he professed.
He said he stopped over in Hong Kong on his way to perform at Mission Hills in Shenzhen and happened to walk by the protest area as a tourist.
“Some fans took my picture and it’s unfair that I am being used by anyone to say that I am showing support for the demonstrators,” he said. “I only wanted to share my wish for Peace for Hong Kong and for all of China as I feel close to and care about China very much. Please don’t mistake my peace sign for any other sign than a sign for Peace.”
But his clarification didn’t stop netizens from making him the butt of jokes on social media.
Kenny G could be among the “external forces” that Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying is blaming for instigating the Occupy protests, some netizens remarked on Wednesday.
They are now saying the musician’s denial shows that protesters can’t depend on the support of “external forces”.
Earlier, Kenny G tweeted: “In Hong Kong at the sight (sic) of the demonstration. I wish everyone a peaceful and positive conclusion to this situation.” It was accompanied by pictures showing him at one of the protest sites.
By Thursday, the pictures and accompanying tweet were removed.
But not before his online posts struck a sour note in Beijing. “Kenny G’s musical works are widely popular in China, but China’s position on the illegal Occupy Central activities in Hong Kong is very clear,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said, when asked to react to reports that the musician visited a protest site in Hong Kong.
Kenny G’s twitter posting: [click here]
Kenny G’s Facebook posting: [click here]
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