Government taps career diplomat as new Chinese ambassador, sources say

Career diplomat Jennifer May will be the new ambassador to China, a post vacant since late last year, sources tell CBC News.

May replaces Dominic Barton, who left the job in late December following the release of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, Canada’s alleged spies who had been held by China for nearly three years.

The sources spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak on the matter publicly. An official announcement is expected on Friday. The news was first reported by the Globe and Mail.

May has been with Global Affairs Canada since 1990, where he was previously the ambassador to Brazil and deputy chief of mission at the Canadian embassy in Germany, according to a government of Canada website.

She has also held posts in Hong Kong, Beijing and Bangkok.

The Chinese government agreed to accept May as its ambassador earlier this week, sources said.

May speaks five languages, including Mandarin, a source said.

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