Canada distances itself from ambassador on China warning

OTTAWA, Canada — Canadian officials are distancing themselves from a former ambassador who warned China that further trade disputes could lead to a less friendly government in Ottawa.

John McCallum is a former Canadian ambassador to China and he told the South China Morning Post this week that retaliating against Canada over a Huawei executive's arrest could lead to a Conservative Party takeover of Canada's federal government.

And he said that the Conservatives "are much less friendly to China" than the current Liberal government.

China has imposed restrictions on Canadian meat and canola and continues to hold two Canadians.

On Thursday, Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said it "inappropriate for any Canadian to be advising any foreign government" on actions to affect election outcomes in Canada.

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