Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has fired country’s ambassador to China John McCallum on Sunday, over McCallum’s alleged controversial remarks over the extradition of China’s Huawei chief executive officer (CEO) Meng Wanzhou.
The detention of Wanzhou, at the request of the United States, has angered both the sides – China and Canada – which soured their diplomatic and political relations. Wanzhou was accused by the US of bypassing the US sanction on Iran. Though, both Wanzhou and Huawei tech denied the accusations and allegations leveled against her.
In a statement, the Canadian prime minister said: “Last night I asked for and accepted John McCallum’s resignation as Canada’s ambassador to China.”
He added the veteran diplomat McCallum had served Canadians very honourably and with some distinctions with many officials in the cabinet. Trudeau also thanked McCallum and his family for their service to the country.
On Tuesday, McCallum has caused controversies when he publicly argued that Washington extradition request for Huawei CEO was “seriously flawed”. The very next day, McCallum issued a statement stating he “misspoke” and also regretted that his remarks had created “confusions”.
But however, on Friday, McCallum was quoted as saying it would be “great for Canada” if the US chose to drop the extradition request.
Canadian media claimed McCallum was eager to take over the posting due to his strong connection (personal) to China.
Stepping down as the immigration minister, McCallum was appointed as Canada’s ambassador to China in2017. He also served as defence minister of Canada in 2002-03.