Canada’s diplomatic rift with China looks set to deepen following the dismissal of the country’s top diplomat in Beijing.
The forced departure of John McCallum, announced by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Saturday, is the latest unintended consequence stemming from the high-profile arrest of Chinese telecoms executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver last year.
The resignation comes just days after the former ambassador appeared to provide comments in support of China’s assessment that Meng’s arrest could be construed as politically motivated.
Meng, chief financial officer of Chinese tech giant Huawei, was arrested by Canadian authorities acting on behalf of the United States on December 1. The US government alleges that Meng helped Huawei dodge US sanctions on Iran and has indicated it will file a formal extradition request by the January 30 deadline.
Speaking to Chinese-language reporters in Beijing last week, McCallum said that Meng stood a good chance of avoiding extradition to the United States, suggesting that remarks made by US President Donald Trump had potentially strengthened her case.
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