China’s ambassador to Canada has been reassigned to Europe, leaving both countries without their respective diplomats.
CTV News has confirmed that Lu Shaye will move from his post in Ottawa by the end of the month to become the Chinese ambassador to France.
- Sign up for our Capital Dispatch newsletter, delivered twice weekly to your inbox and every day during the election
Lu, who is fluent in French, had been serving at his post since 2017.
Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau told reporters Wednesday that the diplomatic relationship between the two countries will continue, despite Canada not currently having an official ambassador in China either.
There is no indication of when both vacancies will be filled, though experts believe the replacements won’t ease the tensions between the nations.
"Even if we were to have an ambassador in place in Beijing, I don't think we'd have better access,” Guy St. Jacques, a former Canadian ambassador to China, told CTV News.
Canada’s former ambassador to China, John McCallum, left the post in January over comments relating to the ongoing extradition case of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.
Meng, the Chinese telecom company’s chief financial officer, is wanted in the U.S. on fraud charges.
Lu has been a vocal critic of the arrest, even going so far as to call it “white supremacy.”
China has been escalating tensions with Canada since the arrest, with the detainment of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor being seen as retaliation.
China has also blocked Canada’s canola exports to the country and recently increased its inspections of Canadian meat products, primarily pork.
The Canadian government is weighing whether to grant Huawei access to Canada’s 5G network due to national security concerns, which Lu called “unfounded” and “baseless” on CTV Power Play on Tuesday.