Justin Trudeau axes Canadian ambassador to China over Huawei exec remarks

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement on Saturday that he had asked for and accepted the resignation of the country's ambassador to China amid crisis in the Canadian-Chinese relations.

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".

McCallum's remarks to The Vancouver Star came one day after he walked back comments that Meng had a "strong case" against extradition to the US.

McCallum told StarMetro Vancouver on Friday that if the US and China reach an agreement on Meng's case, the deal should include the release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, two Canadians now detained in China.

Meng, the daughter of Huawei's founder, was arrested in Vancouver last month over alleged violations of US sanctions on Iran.

China detained two Canadians shortly after Meng's arrest in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release her.

The arrest of the daughter of the founder of Huawei Technologies at Vancouver's airport December 1 severely damaged relations between China and Canada.

Saint-Jacques called it another mistake by McCallum but said firing him would not help the two Canadians as it would take too long to replace the envoy and the Chinese might not be cooperative. But by Saturday, he had reversed his position.

Opposition Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has said McCallum should be fired because his remarks raise concerns about the politicization of the Meng case.

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The IMF said while the Chinese growth rate has been on a downward slope India has experienced an upward trajectory in these years. The IMF said US-China trade confrontations, Brexit and other uncertainty are threatening to drag down global growth even further.

The federal government has tasked McCallum's right hand man in China Jim Nickel, up until now the Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Canada in Beijing, as Chargé d'affaires to China in the wake of McCallum's resignation.

But the Prime Minister and his Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland, had also stressed that Canada's Government could not interfere politically in the case.

While McCallum's remarks might have played well in China, Ong said, they presented a problem for Freeland and other Canadian officials portraying Meng's arrest as strictly a legal affair.

A year ago, Mr. McCallum also made controversial comments about how Canada had more in common with China than the United States under Mr. Trump.

In a news release announcing the ambassador's resignation, Trudeau thanked McCallum for almost two decades of service.

Canada's ambassador to China has been sacked after claiming that Huawei's CFO has a "strong case" against being extradited to the USA, and suggesting that Ottawa will be better off releasing the Chinese national. "And the U.S.is highly aware of that", McCallum told the Star. The US government has until Wednesday to file an extradition request.

Mr McCallum caused controversy on Tuesday when he publicly argued that the United States extradition request for Ms Meng was seriously flawed.

On the subject of Meng's arrest, Freeland reasserted that Canada had no choice but to arrest her given the USA request.

Huawei has close ties to China's military and is considered one of the country's most successful global enterprises.

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