Dominic Barton, Canada’s ambassador to China, announced on Monday that he will step down towards the end of the year, calling the China-Canada partnership as “vital to our future.”
Barton also mentioned in a statement about his part in assisting the release of two Canadians held in Chinese captivity. By September, the two Canadians were freed. “Now that Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have returned to Canada, the country is in a stronger place to pursue its other diplomatic objectives with China.”
Trudeau expressed “thanks and respect” for Barton’s handling of the “primary priority” of winning the release of the two Michaels by accepting his choice to resign at the close of the year.
“He put in long hours on this crucial project.” In a statement, Trudeau said, “He provided support and counsel to the two Michaels’ families and attempted to form an alliance of like-minded countries to stand shoulder to shoulder.” “Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are reunited with their families thanks to Dominic’s leadership and diplomatic skills.”
On Monday morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed Barton’s approaching retirement, stating the former corporate CEO would officially resign by the end of the year.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole commended Barton for his service, and said that the Liberal government’s current relations with China are a problem. “It’s high time for a professional diplomat to be in place — not a supporter of the Liberal Party,” he stated to the CBC.
He also suggested that Canada launch a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing due to the Chinese government’s violations of human rights. This would imply that no Canadian government officials would attend the February games.
Source: Global News