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Canada's Prime Minister fires his ambassador to China



Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dismissed Canada's ambassador to China after the envoy said it was "great" for the US to drop its extradition request for a Chinese technology expert arrested in Canada.

Trudeau said on Saturday he had asked and accepted John McCallum's resignation on Friday night.

McCallum made the comment on the Toronto Star on Friday. That came one day after he made a statement saying he had commented on the case earlier in the week and regretted that Meng Wanzhou had a strong case against extradition.

The arrest of the daughter of the founder of Huawei Technologies Ltd. at Vancouver Airport December 1

has severely damaged relations between China and Canada.

The US wants its extradition for misleading banks to be charged with misleading banks for doing business in Huawei in Iran

. "Last night, I requested John McCallum's resignation and accepted Canada's ambassador to China," Trudeau said in a statement.

Trudeau said Jim Nickel, Deputy Head of Mission of the Canadian Embassy in Beijing, will represent his government in China. He thanked McCallum, a former minister in the Trudeau Cabinet, for his 20 years in the civil service.

China arrested two Canadians shortly after Meng's arrest in an apparent attempt to urge Canada to release her. A Chinese court also sentenced a Canadian to death in a sudden retrial of a drug war and revoked a 15-year prison sentence he had previously imposed.

McCallum told the Chinese media in the Toronto region earlier in the week that Meng's extradition was due The United States "would not be a happy outcome."

He suggested that the case be politically motivated, saying that the US could enter into a trade agreement with China, no longer seeking its extradition, and that two Canadians detained in China could then be released.

But on Thursday, McCallum returned the remarks and said he "misspoke".

Trudeau had previously dismissed the calls to shoot McCallum, but he had clearly enough after the envoy had spoken again from the script. Trudeau and Secretary of State Chrystia Freeland have stressed that the Canadian government can not interfere politically in this case.

The leader of the opposition Conservative Party, Andrew Scheer, said McCallum should have been fired days ago because his statements raised concerns about the politicization of the Meng case.

Scheer said McCallum had damaged Canada's reputation by broadcasting different messages through different media on different days.

McCallum's comments surprised many and fueled speculation that Canada wanted to send a signal to China.

A year ago, McCallum also made controversial comments that Canada had more to do with China than the United States under Trump. McCallum maintains close personal relationships with China and pointed out this week in the Chinese-language media that his wife is of Chinese descent and his three sons have Chinese spouses.

Guy Saint-Jacques, former Canadian ambassador to China, said he felt bad for McCallum, but said it was the right thing to do.

"Worse is that this happens in the middle of the crisis when we all need hands on deck," said Saint-Jacques.

He said the Chinese would now know that McCallum was not speaking for the Canadian government.

Roland Paris, a former foreign policy advisor to Trudeau, said: "Mr. McCallum's comments continued to confuse Canada's position. Because of this importance, the Canadian government must speak with one clear voice."

Robert Bothwell, Professor at the University of Toronto, said it was not the ambassador's job to speak out of line.

"Of course, McCallum can obviously seek refuge when he argues what h We said it was largely true, but he can not escape the fact that it was not his job to say it, it underlines the dangers sending a politician to do the work of a diplomat, "Bothwell said.

Saint-Jacques said he spoke with the Montreal Consul General in Montreal on Thursday, who reported that China was angry in Canada for arresting Meng on behalf of the US, which is involved in trade talks with China.

Saint-Jacques said the Consul General said he believes a Canadian delegation should visit Beijing for talks, and Saint-Jacques believes that Canada should appoint a special envoy to find a solution to the crisis.

Trudeau and Freeland have emphasized that Canada has concluded an extradition treaty with the US, which it has to respect.

The National Security Council of the White House declined to comment on McCallum.

Meng is on bail in Vancouver waiting for a bail. Your extradition: The US has until Wednesday to file documentation for the extradition request.

Huawei is closely associated with China's military and is considered one of the country's most successful foreigners.


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