Canadian PM sacks ambassador to China amid Huawei row

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Saturday that he fired his country's Beijing envoy.

"Last night I asked for and accepted John McCallum's resignation as Canada's Ambassador to China," Trudeau said in a statement without elaborating his reasons for the removal.

Thanking McCallum for his 20 year of service to the Canadian government, Trudeau named Jim Nickel, Canada's deputy head of mission in Beijing, as interim charge d'affaires.

"For almost two decades, John McCallum has served Canadians honourably and with distinction," Trudeau wrote.

"His work as minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship in bringing in over 39,500 Syrian refugees remains an inspiration to Canadians and an example to the world. I thank him and his family for his service over the past many years."

Comments by McCallum on the arrest of Chinese telecom company Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou had led to uproar among opposition conservatives in Canada.

He later regretted for his "misspoken" comments on the extradition of Meng to the U.S., which had requested her arrest early last month on fraud charges.

She was later granted bail and is awaiting a Canadian extradition hearing on Feb. 6.

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