Canadian PM Justin Trudeau sacks ambassador to China after Huawei remarks

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau sacks ambassador to China after Huawei remarks

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau sacks ambassador to China after Huawei remarks

"For nearly two decades, John McCallum has served Canadians honorably and with distinction", Trudeau said in a press release which didn't address the former lawmaker's controversies of the past week.

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

The Prime Minister gave no reason, but Mr. McCallum's Tuesday comments about how Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou had a strong case to avoid extradition generated a storm of controversy about whether he was in fact speaking for the Liberal government.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer had called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to fire McCallum earlier in the week, arguing his remarks were inappropriate. The prime minister said earlier this week that his government's focus was on getting detained Kovrig and Spavor home safely from China and ensuring their rights are respected - and recalling McCallum wouldn't achieve that.

He suggested the case was politically motivated and said the USA could make a trade deal with China in which it would no longer seek her extradition, and two Canadian detained in China could then be released.

"We have to make sure that if the USA does such a deal, it also includes the release of our two people".

Saint-Jacques said he spoke to China's consul general in Montreal on Thursday who reported that China is furious at Canada for arresting Meng on behalf of the US, which is involved in a trade talks with China.

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

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"From Canada's point of view, if (the US) drops the extradition request, that would be great for Canada", ambassador John McCallum told the Star.

He said McCallum's initial comments raised the spectre of political interference in the Meng case, and that by failing to act immediately, Trudeau undercut his own assurances that the case would be handled independently by the courts.

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

"These comments do not accurately represent my position on this issue".

"As Canada's ambassador to China, I play no role in assessing any arguments or making any determinations in the extradition process", McCallum said Thursday.

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

Meng was arrested December 1 at Vancouver's airport on an extradition request from the U.S. She was freed on bail by a B.C. Supreme Court judge and is due back in court on February 6. And three, there's the issue of Iran sanctions in her case and Canada does not sign on to these.

Huawei has recently faced allegations that it had been linked to the Chinese government and even has been spying on its behalf, something that the company has vehemently denied.

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