Trudeau sacks Canadian envoy to China after Huawei controversy

  • 1
    Share

Ottawa, Jan 27: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he had sought and accepted the resignation of Ottawa’s ambassador to China, days after the diplomat sparked controversy with criticism of the US extradition request for a top Huawei executive.
“Last night I asked for and accepted John McCallum’s resignation as Canada’s Ambassador to China,” Trudeau said in a statement that did not explain why the decision had been taken.
McCallum has been making headlines in recent days over comments regarding Meng Wanzhou, Chinese giant Huawei’s chief financial officer who was arrested in Vancouver on December 1 and is facing extradition to the United States.
Accused of fraud linked to violations of American sanctions on Iran, she is out on bail, but her arrest has sparked an escalating diplomatic crisis between Ottawa and Beijing.
McCallum briefed lawmakers Tuesday on the plight of two Canadians detained in China and a third placed on death row in what are widely seen as retaliatory moves by Beijing.
After the briefing he told Chinese-language media in Markham, Ontario that he believed the US extradition request was seriously flawed. He cited political comments on the case by US President Donald Trump, the “extraterritorial aspect” of Meng’s case and the fact that Canada did not sign on to the Iran sanctions that Washington wants her extradited for.
McCallum’s remarks were immediately panned by opposition parties and others for seeming to undercut the strict hands-off approach to judicial matters touted by the Canadian government.
The following day he issued a statement saying that he “misspoke,” and “regrets” that his comments “have created confusion.” But, McCallum told The Vancouver Star that it would be “great for Canada” if the US dropped its extradition request.
“From Canada’s point of view, if (the US) drops the extradition request, that would be great for Canada,” he told the newspaper at a charity function. “

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.