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Statement by the Prime Minister on Canada’s Ambassador to China

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The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on Canada’s Ambassador to China, Dominic Barton:

“With much gratitude and respect, I have accepted Ambassador Barton’s decision to leave his post in Beijing at the end of the year.

“For the last two years, Dominic has led our team in China with determination, integrity, and compassion, and at a time when relations between our two countries faced difficult challenges.

“As a defender of human rights and the rule of law, his top priority always remained securing the release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who had been arbitrarily detained in China for two and a half years.

“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. Thanks to Dominic’s leadership and skilled diplomatic approach, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are back at home with their families.

“Dominic has also played an integral role in shaping and pursuing Canada’s priorities with respect to China. Thanks to his efforts, Canada is now better positioned to manage this important relationship and achieve our diplomatic objectives.

“Dominic, my friend, thank you for your work and dedication to our country and to the people of Canada.

“Canada is stronger because of your service, and I wish you all the best.”