Kenny G Hits a Sour Note With China's Government

PHOTO: Kenny G performs at Hard Rock Cafe, Times Square, Jan. 14, 2014, in New York.laven Vlasic/Getty Images
Kenny G performs at Hard Rock Cafe, Times Square, Jan. 14, 2014, in New York.

Looks as if Kenny G hit an off-note with the Chinese government.

The Grammy-award winning musician made a surprise visit to the central Occupy Hong Kong protest site today, drawing a swift rebuke from the government in Beijing.

“In Hong Kong at the sight of the demonstration,” he tweeted, posting a photo of himself with his fingers in a “v” sign in front of a protest sign calling for democracy in Hong Kong.

“I wish everyone a peaceful and positive conclusion to this situation.”

Needless to say, the government in Beijing wasn’t pleased.

Roughly an hour later, a foreign ministry spokesperson addressed his appearance at a daily news briefing.

“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,” Hua Chunying told reporters.

"We hope that foreign governments and individuals speak and act cautiously and not support the Occupy Central and other illegal activities in any form."

The pro-Democracy protests began several weeks ago, with tens of thousands mostly student protesters occupying the area surrounding Hong Kong’s main government building downtown. Since the initial throng of support, their numbers have dwindled significantly.

The protesters are demanding the right to free elections in 2017 with the ability to elect any leader they choose. Beijing says the elections will go ahead as scheduled, but all candidates will be vetted by a central committee in Beijing before they’re allowed to run.

There’s no word whether Kenny G’s smooth, silky tones were able to help break the deadlock.

Kenny G enjoys massive popularity in China and performed four concerts there in September. His 1989 hit “Going Home” is played in many shopping malls, public parks, and other public areas at closing time – sort of an unofficial anthem to end the day.