Li, Canada bureau chief for China's largest newspaper the People's Daily, was given the right to join the press gallery along the week-long tour. Yesterday, the press gallery allowed Li to wait in line to ask one of the limited number of questions Harper would allow, but as he waited, one of Harper's staffers, Julie Vaux, approached him and told him he couldn't ask his question.
Li said the RCMP “said I couldn’t ask a question. I said why?” He then told the Mounties the press gallery gave him the question and said, “It’s not democratic.”
"It's not fair," Li said afterward. "I would have liked the prime minister to clarify the federal government policy and regulations towards foreign state-owned companies investment because it is not clear since the Nexen takeover. People in China would want to know."
The Canadian Press have been restricted and tamed by the Harper Government since its election, but this is the first time international press have been affected. What this will mean for Canada-China relations will also come to play. The People's Daily is a state-owned newspaper and one can imagine the headline regarding the incident. While Harper has now expressed interest in doing business with China, he refused to do business with them in the beginning of his mandate citing their democratic and human rights records.