Chairman Steve


The Prime Minister is big in China.

The motorcade stopped, the Prime Minister and his wife Laureen alighted from a black limo, and as they made their way down the street hand-in-hand, a flurry of RCMP security, paparazzi and tourists followed. Across the road a few shouts of “Harper! Harper!” went up and the smiling Prime Minister waved back.

The Harpers’ destination was a hole-in-the-wall shop called the Song Lin Tea Garden, where shop assistants Yu Lijuan and Wei Amin were waiting to welcome them. They said they knew “Canada’s Chairman,” was coming: local Canadian officials had alerted them in advance…

The Prime Minister couldn’t resist wading into the crowd that had gathered. As his RCMP detail tried to build him a secure space, Harper met and shook hands with a Russian-Canadian man named Dimitry from Vancouver, who is a machine operator at a Chinese pulp mill. Then Harper waded in deeper, where people smiled and enthusiastically shook his hand, some grasping his outstretched hand with both of theirs.


Chairman Steve

  1. Glad to hear they had at least one very enjoyable moment!

  2. So Chairman Harper can't resist wading into a crowd in China but he can resist doing the same in Canada. That says it all, folks.

    • I wonder how many political leaders in Canada would dare to venture into a random crowd around a store here. Maybe Danny Williams. Or the zombie Mackenzie King (for cannabilistic purposes).

    • I wonder how many political leaders in Canada would dare to venture into a random crowd around a store here. Maybe Danny Williams. Or the zombie Mackenzie King (for cannabilistic purposes).

      • Chretien did it quite frequently. He even took care of his security when the need arose.

      • A couple other premiers I suspect… Charest and Doer would. And, McGuinty was seen aidless waiting in line for a flu shot in Toronto once they opened up to the general public (as Wells reported on his blog here).

    • gosh you're a sour individual. is there no story at all that you can't turn into a gripe, however contrived?

  3. That's nice. My first thought was that the Chinese must be starved for outside political figures. My second thought was it is nice for Harper to understand the reception we gave Obama.

    My third thought is this doesn't reflect well on me or my view of Canadian society. Not that I think my view of Canadian society is wrong . . .

  4. The last line of the report:

    It was genuine Chinese hospitality – whether they knew who the Prime Minister was or not

    • This is only useful if the reporter cared to poll the crowd, which I suspect he didn't. So, a rather pointless finish.

      • At least one journo – Akin – did…. see his blog… this was how Dimtry was found.

  5. "Chairman Harper's" Long March.

  6. So, that's it for trade deals — Canada is now on China's tourist destinations. That's it?

  7. Want attention in China? My girlfriend has auburn hair and when she was in China a few years ago – crowds and children surrounded her – they're fascinated by auburn hair.

    • I am anglo male – got my hair cut on street corner in beijing years ago. I was tourist attraction for locals entire time I was sat there. There was minor tussle for my hair when barber was done. Orientals also fascinated with body hair – Harper should have rolled up his sleeve and exposed his arm – they would have gone nuts to touch his arm hair.

      • The Canadian press has been trying to touch his arm hair for years.

        • Lizards don't have hair.

        • I may be wrong here, but Harper doesn't seem like he has much body hair. I certainly have not seen any evidence of facial hair, ever. Are there any pictures out there of Harper wearing a short sleeve shirt?

          • He probably shaves religiously & meticulously; part of his cleaner-cut-than-thou image. Here's a picture of him with his sleeves rolled up (couldn't find one with short sleeves, guess he doesn't wear them), and he doesn't seem excessively smooth.

  8. "China's Premier Wen Jiabao can say what he likes about Canada's Prime Minister – and he did last week, giving him a verbal poke in the eye."

    I don't understand this attitude. Harper is Canada's PM and when he gets poked in the eye we all do. We don't get to pick and choose our PMs, unfortunately. When I lived abroad and people asked me if Canadians had elected a PM with special needs (they were asking about Chretien of course) I still defended Chretien even tho I did not support him or his party.

    • How hard is it to defend Chretien from the suggestion he has "special needs". To say he doesn't is just being honest.

      Yes, Canada did get a verbal poke in the eye last week – thanks to Harper.

  9. Glad he's getting cheered getting out of his car somewhere. And, unlike the cheering at home, the crowds are made up entirely of his own staffers.

    Maybe he could import some of those Chinese to Montreal. I've never seen anyone get booed like Harper did at the Centennial. There wasn't a person there who was not loudly jeering him. The anger was palpable. It was quite jarring actually.

    • C'mon Ted,
      It's Harpermania! and you know it!

  10. Geez, change the names to Barrack and Michelle. Obama stops into a little shop in Ottawa to adoring crowds and buy a bear claw.

    Harper drops into a little shop in China, to curious crowds and buys tea.

    The held hands – well, wow.

    • He's learned that handshakes with family don't really resonate.

      Picture it. Great Wall, 2009. Big shot Canadian with "little woman", handshake commemorating visit to historical site. Quick, photo-op.

      Not the best image, but as many of us would suspect, probably the truest.

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