HomeWorldCanada has appointed a new ambassador to ChinaSEDI News

Canada has appointed a new ambassador to ChinaSEDI News

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tapped Jennifer May as Canada’s new ambassador to China, filling a nearly year-long vacancy in the top diplomatic post, sources tell CTV News.

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The government may announce May’s appointment as early as Friday.

In taking on this new role, he will be Canada’s leader in maintaining a rich relationship with China.

May, who was Canada’s ambassador to Brazil until August, joined Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs more than 30 years ago. During her career, May has held a series of positions, including Executive Director of Defense and Security Relations, Director of Eastern Europe and Eurasia Relations, and has served in Bonn, Hong Kong, Beijing, Vienna, Bangkok and Berlin.

Canada has been without an ambassador to China since late 2021, when Dominic Barton moved out of the Beijing office.

Asked by CTV News a few months ago what the holdup was when Canada reached the six-month mark without an ambassador, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly’s office promised that a representative would be named “in due course,” saying officials would engage with China. continued. “At a high level.”

At the time, former ambassador to China Guy St-Jacques said the notable absence was a sign that the federal government “doesn’t understand” the value of a strong diplomatic presence on the ground.

“Having an ambassador gives you intelligence… because here’s someone who can reach a higher level. [information] Which others in the embassy cannot do,” he said. “You’re depriving yourself of all that useful information.”

Barton publicly announced his resignation on December 6, 2021, a few months after helping secure the release of former diplomats and entrepreneurs Michael Kovrig and Michael Spaver.

The two men were arbitrarily detained and held in a Chinese prison for more than 1,000 days. His arrest is widely seen as retaliation for the Vancouver arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou over a US extradition request.

Those events marked the beginning of nearly three years of icy relations between Canada and China.

May’s appointment coincides with the one-year anniversary of Bay Michael’s release in Canada.

It was late on the night of September 24, 2021 when Trudeau gave a national address, announcing that Covig and Spaver had boarded a plane to China with Barton and “they’re on their way home.”


With files from CTV National News Ottawa Bureau Chief Joyce Napier, CTV National News Producer Mackenzie Gray and CTVNews.ca Producer Sarah Turnbull