May is a veteran diplomat with 30 years of experience. She served as Canada’s ambassador to Brazil and during her career has worked at the Canadian missions in Beijing and Hong Kong
Canada on Friday appointed Jennifer May as its first female ambassador to China, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, filling a role that has been open since December last year amid ongoing diplomatic tensions with the Asian economic powerhouse.
May is a veteran diplomat with 30 years of experience, Trudeau said in a statement. She recently served as Canada’s ambassador to Brazil and during her career has worked at the Canadian missions in Beijing and Hong Kong.
“Ms. May will lead Canada’s important work in defending democratic values, human rights and the rule of law,” Trudeau said. “Her work will be key to advancing Canadian priorities in the Canada-China relationship.”
In 2019, Canada named Kirsten Hillman, another career diplomat, as its first female ambassador to the United States.
On Thursday, Secretary of State Melanie Joly told diplomats meeting in New York that she would “soon” present a new Indo-Pacific strategy aimed at working with China on trade and climate change while competing in other areas such as critical minerals and its treatment. on human rights issues.
Recently, a planned trip by Canadian MPs to Taiwan and the passage of a Canadian frigate through the Taiwan Strait angered Beijing, but tensions between Canada and China have been high for years.
In May, Ottawa banned the use of 5G equipment by China’s Huawei Technologies Co over national security concerns. Trudeau delayed the Huawei decision in 2019 because he was reluctant to move until the fate of Canadians held on espionage charges in China became clearer.
Canada also has a very large Chinese immigrant community. More than 1.8 million Canadians are of Chinese descent, and Chinese languages are the most widely spoken languages in Canada after English and French.
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