Saturday, January 26, 2019
Canada's ambassador to China, John McCallum, is out. Justin Trudeau asked for and received McCallum's resignation last night.
The Liberal stalwart succumbed to a bout of foot in mouth disease over the Meng Wanzhou/Huawei extradition fiasco.
McCallum stepped out of line earlier when he told Chinese journalists that Wanzhou had a strong defence against the American extradition bid because the crime alleged is an extraterritorial matter, i.e. the offence alleged would not be a crime in Canada. Unlike the United States, Canada has not turned on Iran. And Trump's careless remark about how Wanzhou would make a useful bargaining chip in Washington's trade war with Beijing suggests the American prosecution is political, not criminal. All of his points are eminently reasonable.
Apparently McCallum went too far for this prime minister when he told a local paper in Vancouver that it would be "great for Canada" if Washington dropped the extradition case.
McCallum served in the governments of Chretien, Martin and Trudeau.