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Trudeau fires ambassador in China over Huawei



(TORONTO) – 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 tech executive arrested in Canada on Friday night Demanded resignation of John McCallum and accepted him.

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 claims that its extradition charges that it has committed fraud when it led the banks astray over the Iranian deal with Huawei in Iran.

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 this week that Meng's extradition was due The United States "would not be a happy outcome." He also suggested that the case was politically motivated.

On Thursday, however, he went back and said he had "misspoke".

Trudeau had fired shots earlier this week, but McCallum had clearly enough after McCallum spoke again. Trudeau and Secretary of State Chrystia Freeland have stressed that the Canadian government can not interfere politically in the case.

The leader of the opposition conservative party, Andrew Scheer, had said McCallum should be dismissed because his remarks raised concern over the politicization of the parliamentary case of Meng.

"It should never have happened. Justin Trudeau should have fired his ambassador the moment he intervened in this case. Instead, he did nothing and allowed further damage. More weakness and more indecision towards Trudeau in China, "Scheer tweeted after the shot was announced.

McCallum's comments surprised many, speculating that Canada might try to send a signal to China to ease the tensions.

Guy Saint-Jacques, a former Canadian ambassador to China, said Friday that McCallum's remarks that Canada would rather drop the US case, "are true, but he should have shut up."

Contact us at editores@time.com.


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