Canada Under Pressure To Appoint High-Level Envoy To China Immediately

After Canada’s ambassador to China was dismissed, a man who formerly held that job says the government should immediately appoint a special high-level envoy to deal with Beijing while it searches for a new, permanent representative.

As the process to appoint new ambassador might take some time, appointing a high-level envoy would send the right signal to China that Canada is serious about trying to end the ongoing diplomatic dispute, said Guy Saint-Jacques, who was posted in Beijing until 2016.

Canada was embroiled in a diplomatic spat with China since the detention of Meng Wanzhou, a top Huawei executive, in Vancouver on Dec. 1 at the request of the U.S.

China then detained two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, without just cause, according to the Canadian government.

“It would be important for the prime minister to consider to send a high-level envoy, tasked with trying to resolve the issue, or at least lower the temperature with the Chinese,” Saint-Jacques said. “I think we’re at a stage where we need a good face-to-face dialogue.”