Chairman Steve - Macleans.ca

Chairman Steve

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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.