Trudeau appoints new Canadian ambassador to China

Published on 09/23/2022 at 12:42 p.m

The post of Canada’s ambassador to China has been vacant since late last year. (Photo: The Canadian Press)

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau’s government on Friday filled the post of Canadian ambassador to China, which had been vacant since late last year, by appointing longtime diplomat Jennifer May.

“As a committed civil servant, Ms. May has many years of diverse experience in international missions. This experience, combined with his extensive knowledge of Asia, will enable him to manage these important bilateral relationships and advance Canada’s interests in China,” the prime minister said in a press release.

The new ambassador to China, who began her career in the Canadian civil service in 1990, has worked in the missions in Bangkok, Hong Kong and Vienna, among other places.

Justin Trudeau’s office noted that Ms May will have a mandate, among other things, to “defend democratic values, human rights and the rule of law”.

Canada’s former ambassador to China, Dominic Barton, resigned last December after a tenure marked by efforts to free Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who were first arrested and detained by Chinese authorities in December 2018.

Their detention appeared to be in retaliation for the Vancouver arrest of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer, which the Americans wanted to bring to justice for fraud.

The “Two Michaels” was released in September 2021.

Tyrone Hodgson

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