OTTAWA — John McCallum has resigned as ambassador to China at the request of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Trudeau says he asked McCallum to step down on Friday night.
The prime minister did not immediately issue an explanation, but the move comes after the former ambassador was quoted in StarMetro Vancouver on Friday as saying it would be “great for Canada” if the United States drops an extradition request against a Huawei executive detained in Canada.
That comment follows a statement McCallum issued Thursday, saying he misspoke earlier in the week when he discussed Meng Wanzhou’s case with a group of Chinese-language journalists in Toronto, listing several arguments he thought could help her with her fight against extradition.
Trudeau says Jim Nickel, deputy head of mission at the Embassy of Canada in Beijing, will represent the country in China as charge d’affaires effective immediately.
The Canadian Press