By Assunta Ng
Former Seattleite Kenny G, the popular saxophonist (especially in China), paid a surprise visit to the students’ protest in Hong Kong recently. There, he took selfies with the students and posed twitter announcements online. But hours later, he deleted them and apologized to China.
Kenny G’s way of dealing with China is not any different from many of the rich-populace approach or philosophy when dealing with the issue of student protest—remaining silent. There is no doubt that he is popular in China. One of his pieces, “Going Home,” is played in most Chinese malls and movie theaters, and it is a signal that it is “closing time.” You hear it, and you know it is time to leave. Aside from this signature signal in popular culture, he also performs four times during the year in the country.
A goldmine in China is more important than supporting democracy, according to some. Others said it’s more important to think long-term, to be able to engage with the country you visit, and to engage its people.
China has a vivid and long memory of anybody expressing dissent toward the government. It can quickly blacklist dissenters and refuse to grant visas to visit.
Born and raised in Seattle, Kenny went to Franklin High School and the University of Washington.
“Going Home” might be his theme song. (end)