Tale of Xi’s dumplings draws crowd

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - NATION - By HOU LIQIANG houliqiang@chi­nadaily.com.cn

“A pres­i­dent’s set meal,” said Sun Zheng­cai as he waited to be served at the Qing Feng Steamed Dumpling Shop in Bei­jing’s Xicheng dis­trict.

Just two days ear­lier, on Satur­day, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping had dropped in un­ex­pect­edly for lunch, and fame of his visit had spread far and wide.

Sun, a 33- year- old ex- sol­dier, could have been home on Mon­day if he had taken a train from Weifang, Shan­dong prov­ince, where he had been on a busi­ness trip, straight to Liaon­ing prov­ince. But he chose to change trains in Bei­jing with his five boxes of green turnips, mak­ing the trip six hours longer and more than 200 yuan ($33) more ex­pen­sive.

Sun spent 50 yuan to store his 25 kg of turnips at the sta­tion and ar­rived at the shop at about noon to join a line more than 50 me­ters long.

Af­ter wait­ing for nearly half an hour, he took his “pres­i­dent’s meal” and went to the ta­ble at which Xi had sat — where Sun joined another line to wait for a chance to sit in Xi’s seat and have his photo taken there.

Sun then quickly moved to another ta­ble be­cause of the large num­ber of peo­ple who were wait­ing their turn to be pho­tographed at Xi’s ta­ble.

The first thing Sun did, how­ever, was not to start en­joy­ing the dumpling stuffed with

I usu­ally don’t eat dumplings, but I fin­ished all of them just as Pres­i­dent Xi did.” SUN ZHENG­CAI A CUS­TOMER AT THE RESTAU­RANT

pork and green onions, but to up­load to WeChat, a mo­bile so­cial net­work­ing app, the photo he had asked another cus­tomer to take of him.

“The great­est honor I had dur­ing my stay in Bei­jing was to have a set meal of the pres­i­dent,” he said in the photo.

Af­ter get­ting one more photo of him­self in front of the shop, Sun hur­ried back to the train sta­tion.

“I usu­ally don’t eat dumplings, but I fin­ished all of them, just as Pres­i­dent Xi did,” Sun said. “His deed showed that he is a man of the peo­ple,” Sun added. “I feel more con­fi­dent in build­ing a strong China un­der his lead­er­ship.”

Pan Xinxin, 27, a post­grad­u­ate stu­dent at the Cen­tral Univer­sity of Fi­nance and Eco­nom­ics, also de­cided to come to taste the same meal Xi had or­dered af­ter hear­ing of the pres­i­dent’s visit.

“Pres­i­dent Xi’s deed makes me feel he is quite close to the young and not re­served, and this makes us like him very much,” Pan said.

Pan de­cided to visit the restau­rant be­cause it is “af­ford­able” and “it’s a place we can ex­pe­ri­ence first­hand”.

Ac­cord­ing to an online post from Baidu, the largest search en­gine in China, the term “Qing Feng Steamed Dumpling Shop” had been searched for 33,317 times on Satur­day.

CHENG LIANG / FOR CHINA DAILY

The man­ager of Qing Feng Steamed Dumpling Shop in Bei­jing serves cus­tomers on Mon­day. Peo­ple flocked to the shop af­ter Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping dined there on Satur­day.

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