Canada names new China envoy amid damaged relations
Toronto: Canada on Wednesday announced the appointment of a prominent businessman as its new ambassador to China amid damaged relations following the arrest of a top Chinese tech executive.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Dominic Barton, the former global managing director of the influential consulting firm McKinsey & Co, as the new envoy. Barton is head of the Trudeau government's economic advisory council.
Beijing's embassy in Ottawa said China has accepted the nomination of Barton and said the Chinese side "expects him to play a positive role in promoting the bilateral relations back to the right track." Trudeau fired the previous ambassador after he said it would be "great" if the US dropped its extradition request for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.
The arrest of the daughter of the founder of Huawei at Vancouver's airport December 1 severely damaged relations between China and Canada.
The US wants her extradited to face charges that she committed fraud by misleading banks about Huawei's business dealings in Iran.
China detained Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor on December 10 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng.
China has stopped importing certain Canadian products like canola and meat, and it also re-sentenced a convicted Canadian drug smuggler to death after the Meng arrest as part of an apparent campaign of intimidation and retribution against Canada.
Barton worked in Asia for 12 years as well as serving on the board of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and worked as an adjunct professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, according to online biographies.
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