Toronto: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Saturday confirmed the firing of the country’s ambassador to China over comments on the US’ request to extradite Huawei executive Meng Wangzhou.
In a statement, Trudeau stated he had sought and received the resignation of Ambassador John McCallum, a report on South China Morning Post, in partnership with POLITICO, confirmed.
The sacking comes after McCallum criticised the US’ request for extraditing Meng, following which he issued an apology, and then commented on the case yet again. He told The Toronto Star that it would be “great for Canada” if the US dropped charges against the tech giants’ CFO and deputy chairperson.
McCullum’s comments cast shadows of doubts over whether Canada was in opposition to the US’ charges against Wangzhou, who was arrested in December last year from Vancouver, and if the Trudeau government was sending different messages in Ottawa and Beijing.
Trudeau confirmed that Jim Nickel, McCullum’s deputy head of mission, will represent Canada in China.
The Prime Minister further lauded McCullum’s service, highlighting his work in immigration. McCullum was the immigration minister during the huge influx of Syrian refugees under the Trudeau government.
“His work (on refugees) … remains an inspiration to Canadians and an example to the world. I thank him and his family for his public service over the past many years,” Trudeau said in the statement.