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Trudeau taps career diplomat Jennifer May to be Canada’s new ambassador to China

Michael Kovrig embraces his wife Vina Nadjibulla, left, after arriving at Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is naming longtime Canadian diplomat Jennifer May as the new ambassador in China. The post has been vacant since last December when Dominic Barton stepped down, three months after the release of Michael Spavor and Kovrig.Michael Kovrig embraces his wife Vina Nadjibulla, left, after arriving at Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is naming longtime Canadian diplomat Jennifer May as the new ambassador in China. The post has been vacant since last December when Dominic Barton stepped down, three months after the release of Michael Spavor and Kovrig.

OTTAWA – A profession diplomat with three a long time of expertise in international service was named Canada’s ambassador to China Friday by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Jennifer Might, who most just lately spent three years because the ambassador to Brazil, will fill the job in China that has been vacant now for 9 months.

You are reading: Trudeau taps career diplomat Jennifer May to be Canada’s new ambassador to China

“A devoted public servant, Ms. Might’s a few years of numerous expertise on worldwide missions, and her deep understanding of Asia, will serve to handle this necessary bilateral relationship and advance Canadian pursuits in China,” Trudeau mentioned in a written assertion.

Might joined the Overseas Affairs Division in 1990, and after studying Mandarin, began 4 years as a mid-level diplomat in 2000 adopted by stints in Hong Kong and Thailand. She has additionally served abroad in Germany and Austria.

Her appointment comes as Canada is seeking to scrape the ice off its chilly relationship with China after the discharge of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig one yr in the past.

However the authorities is making clear her orders additionally embody “advancing Canada’s work” to face up for “democratic values, human rights and the rule of regulation.”

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International Affairs Canada has what it refers to in its present departmental plan, an “evolving China coverage framework” that shall be arrange inside the broader improvement of a complete Indo-Pacific technique.

The departmental plan says Canada will use the framework to advance commerce pursuits, however will “problem the federal government of China when values and pursuits diverge and co-operate the place pursuits align.”

“Canada will proceed to talk out in opposition to China’s repression of the Uyghur and Tibetan peoples, and of all non secular minorities in China,” reads the plan, which was printed earlier this yr.

The final two ambassadors to China had been each thought of high-level political appointees. First former cupboard minister John McCallum after which enterprise government Dominic Barton, the latter tasked by Trudeau with the fragile however essential file to get Spavor and Kovrig freed.

Barton left the submit final December, three months after they had been launched. Spavor, a enterprise guide who was working in China, and Kovrig, a former diplomat who was working in China for the Worldwide Disaster Group, had been arrested in December 2019.

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Canada believes their arrests had been political retaliation as a result of Canadian authorities arrested Huawei government Meng Wanzhou on the request of the USA.

The U.S. accused her and Huawei of violating U.S. sanctions in opposition to Iran. Kovrig and Spavor had been arrested days after Meng was taken into custody in Vancouver. The 2 males had been launched as a part of a deal when the U.S. agreed to let Meng return to China.

The dispute did critical hurt to Canada-China relations.

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed Sept. 23, 2022.

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