Kenny G in Hong Kong with the protesters
U.S. jazz musician Kenny G has a special place in China, where his song, the four-minute solo, "Going home," a mega hit in the country, lives on as the theme from shops to schools.
So when the saxophonist posted a photo of himself to Twitter on Wednesday at a pro-democracy demonstration in Hong Kong, where protesters are lobbying for less political influence from Beijing in selecting the territory's leadership, the irony of Kenny G's presence was not lost on reform supporters.
In the photo, Kenny G, whose full name is Kenneth Gorelick, holds two fingers up in a "V" peace sign as he stands in front of a protest banner that reads in part "Democracy of Hong Kong by Hong Kong."
"In Hong Kong at the sight of the demonstration. I wish everyone a peaceful and positive conclusion to this situation," he wrote on his official Twitter account.
Pro-democracy group Global Solidarity HK shared the musician's photo with its more than 3,600 followers on Twitter, adding the comment: "'Going Home?' Not without Civil Nomination."
But China's foreign ministry sang a different tune. Spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that while Kenny G's music is "widely popular in China... 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 added.
Kenny G played four concerts in China last month, including in the capital Beijing.
No Deal in N. Korea Prisoner Release - Kerry
US Secretary of State John Kerry says there was no deal (in his words "quid pro quo" ) involved in North Korea's unexpected release of an American prisoner this week.
The reclusive nation abruptly freed Jeffrey Fowle, and U.S. officials announced Tuesday that he was heading home to the United States.
Fowle, who arrived in North Korea on a tourist visa, was arrested six months ago after leaving a Bible in a North Korean restaurant and bar.
His family denied that he traveled to the country on a church-related mission.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said there is continued concern about the two Americans who remain in custody.
Miller was sentenced to six years of hard labor after being convicted of “hostile” acts against North Korea. Bae received a 15-year prison sentence, also for “hostile” acts.))
Speaking in Berlin on Wednesday, Kerry also expressed hope that denuclearization talks with Pyongyang could start again soon.