A Huawei store in Zhejiang Province, China. Janne Suokas gbtimes.com
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fired Canada's ambassador to China, John McCallum, on Saturday, after the envoy said it would be "great" if the US dropped its extradition request for Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou.
McCallum told a Vancouver newspaper on Friday that if the US and China reached an agreement on Meng’s case, the deal should include the release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, two Canadians currently detained in China for what many analysts believe is an act of revenge for the detention of Meng.
He was quoted as saying: “We have to make sure that if the US does such a deal, it also includes the release of our two people. And the US is highly aware of that.”
On Saturday, Trudeau fired McCallum over the comments, thus further deteriorating relations between Canada and China.
“Last night I asked for and accepted John McCallum’s resignation as Canada’s ambassador to China,” Trudeau said in a press release.
According to the PM, Jim Nickel, the deputy head of mission at the Canadian Embassy in Beijing, will now represent the Canadian Government in China.
He also thanked McCallum, a former cabinet minister, for his 20 years of public service.
Meng Wanzhou remains in Vancouver after being arrested last month, and is confined to one of two of her mansions in the city after making US$10m bail. The US plans to pursue an extradition case against Meng on allegations she helped Huawei circumvent US sanctions against Iran.
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