At the final public event of Stephen Harper’s much hyped annual summer tour on Friday, took place a notorious incident when a journalist from China’s state-owned newspaper got involved in an altercation with Prime Minister’s security after having a shoving match with a female staffer from the Prime Minister’s Office.
During a question-and-answer session at the last public event, after the formal portion of the announcement at Raglan Mine, in Quebec’s far northwest, prime minister was taking a question from the CBC’s James Cudmore, at the time when People’s Daily Canada bureau chief, Li Xue Jiang, started insisting to PMO staffer, Julie Vaux, that he was next in line to ask a question. A little after that, Li could be seen being pushed away by three Mounties to the back of the room.
Eyewitnesses reported seeing PMO staffer, Julie Vaux, being shoved twice by Chinese reporter, Li, twice during the altercation. However, later in an interview, he alleged that she had shoved him first, though acknowledging to have pushed her in response. He stated that “I was in the line. She corrected me several times, so I pushed her.” On the other hand, PMO’s communications director, Andrew MacDougall, stated on Twitter that “we’ll be raising the matter with the Press Gallery, and Mr. Li should apologize immediately,” adding that “agree or disagree with how things are run, there was no excuse for Mr. Li to get physical with our staff.” Upon inquiry if Li planned to apologize, he said “they should apologize to me, for being not fair. For depriving my right to ask questions.”
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