Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has fired John McCallum as Canada’s ambassador to China.
The news comes following reports of McCallum’s comments regarding the Meng Wanzhou case.
“Last night I asked for and accepted John McCallum’s resignation as Canada’s ambassador to China,” Trudeau said in a statement.
Further, Trudeau said that effective immediately, the deputy head of mission at the Canadian embassy in Beijing will represent Canada in China, in keeping with standard practice.
BREAKING: CANADA’S AMBASSADOR TO CHINA HAS BEEN FIRED BY THE PRIME MINISTER. pic.twitter.com/kyo01mV6u9
— Katie Simpson (@CBCKatie) January 26, 2019
Following an apology for comments made regarding the Meng Wanzhou case, Canada’s ambassador to China John McCallum told the Toronto Star that it would be “great” if the U.S. dropped its extradition request.
“From Canada’s point of view, if (the U.S.) drops the extradition request, that would be great for Canada,” McCallum said.
McCallum made the comment to a Star reporter at a charity lunch in Vancouver on January 25th.
Further, the ambassador said that Canada should benefit if the U.S. strikes a deal with China.
“We have to make sure that if the U.S. does such a deal, it also includes the release of our two people. And the U.S. is highly aware of that,” McCallum said.
China has detained former diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor, which could be a retaliation to the arrest of Wanzhou.
McCallum told the Star that seeing the two detainees is his priority when he returns to China on the 26th. Further, he said he was able to visit Kovrig and Spavor once per month.
Additionally, McCallum said that Kovrig is physically fine and that both men can exercise and practice yoga regularly.
Source: Toronto Star
Update 01/26/2019 at 2:53pm: Added information regarding McCallum’s resignation.