China approves new Canadian envoy

6 September, 2019 12:00 AM printer

BEIJING: China said Thursday it accepted Canada’s choice for a new ambassador to Beijing but urged Ottawa to “reflect on its mistakes” amid diplomatic tensions between the countries, reports AFP.

Relations nosedived in December after Canadian police arrested a top executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei in Vancouver on a US warrant over charges related to the violation of Iran sanctions.

Beijing detained two Canadians — former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor — days later in apparent retaliation, with both men now facing espionage-related accusations.

Canada on Wednesday nominated Dominic Barton as its new envoy to Beijing, eight months after his predecessor, John McCallum, was sacked for contradicting Ottawa’s official position on the arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou.

Barton, 56, helped shape the economic policies of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government and is said to be well-known in Beijing.

“China has already agreed the appointment of the new ambassador of Canada to China,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Thursday at a regular press briefing.

“We look forward to his active role in pushing China-Canada relations back on track,” Geng said.


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