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Dominic Barton leaving post as Canada’s ambassador to China

Click to play video: '‘Relations with China are a mess,’ O’Toole says after Ambassador resigns'
‘Relations with China are a mess,’ O’Toole says after Ambassador resigns
WATCH: Official Opposition Leader Erin O’Toole said on Monday that Canadian relations with China are a “mess” after Ambassador Dominic Barton resigned from his post. – Dec 6, 2021

Canada’s ambassador to China, Dominic Barton, said on Monday he was leaving his post at year’s end, citing the China-Canadian relationship as one “of critical importance to our future.”

In a statement, Barton also cited his role working to help release two Canadian citizens from Chinese custody.

The two Canadians were released in September.

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“When I first accepted the appointment in 2019, Prime Minister Trudeau set my core priority to secure the release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor and to manage our relationship with China in light of severe tensions related to the Meng Wanzhou extradition arrest,” Barton said in a statement.

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“Today, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are back in Canada, and the government is better positioned to achieve its other diplomatic priorities with China.”

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Trudeau said he had accepted Barton’s decision to leave at the end of the year with “gratitude and respect” for his handling of the “top priority” in securing the release of the two Michaels.

“He worked tirelessly on this important task. He offered support and counsel to the two Michaels’ families and he worked to forge a coalition of like-minded countries to stand in solidarity,” Trudeau said in a statement. “Thanks to Dominic’s leadership and skilled diplomatic approach, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are back at home with their families.”

More to come.

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