List of Canadian ambassadors to China

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This is a list of Canadian ambassadors to China.

Ambassadors to the Republic of China[edit]

Canada was originally represented in China by the British ambassador, who looked after the interests of the entire British Empire and later the British Commonwealth. Canadian participation in World War II made it desirable to establish separate representation in China, and in 1942 a Canadian Embassy was opened in the temporary capital of Chongqing.[1] The embassy was then moved to the permanent Nationalist capital of Nanjing in 1946.

Head of Post Diplomatic Rank Appointment Date Termination of Mission
Major General Victor Wentworth Odlum Envoy November 5, 1942 October 4, 1946
George Sutton Patterson Chargé d'affaires a.i. October 4, 1946 October 24, 1946
The Honourable Thomas Clayton Davis Ambassador October 24, 1946 Continued to Communist China

Ambassadors to the People's Republic of China[edit]

The Canadian ambassador remained in Nanjing after Communist troops took the city on April 23, 1949. Canada then maintained diplomatic relations with Communist China at the chargé level from July 1949 to February 1951, when the Korean War made it impossible for diplomatic relations to continue. Canada chose not to post an ambassador to the Nationalist capital of Taipei, maintaining relations through the Nationalist Chinese ambassador in Ottawa.[2]

Canada recognized the People's Republic of China as the sole legitimate government of China on October 13, 1970, and a Canadian Embassy was opened in Beijing on June 10, 1971.

Head of Post Diplomatic Rank Appointment Date Termination of Mission
The Honourable Thomas Clayton Davis Ambassador Continued from Nationalist China July 1949[3]
Chester Ronning Chargé d'affaires July 1949[3] February 26, 1951
John MacLeod Fraser Chargé d'affaires a.i. January 11, 1971 June 10, 1971
Ralph Edgar Collins Ambassador April 8, 1971 September 17, 1972
Charles John Small Ambassador June 8, 1972 October 8, 1976
Arthur Menzies Ambassador June 29, 1976 September 23, 1980
Michel Gauvin Ambassador September 12, 1980 -
Richard Vessot Gorham Ambassador May 31, 1984 -
Earl Gordon Drake Ambassador September 10, 1987 October 5, 1990
M. Fred Bild Ambassador 1990 December 4, 1994
John Lawrence Paynter Ambassador December 23, 1994 October 31, 1995
Howard Balloch Ambassador February 13, 1996 -
Joseph Caron Ambassador July 16, 2001 July 28, 2005
Robert G. Wright Ambassador August 19, 2005 2009
David Mulroney Ambassador 2009 2012
Guy Saint-Jacques Ambassador 2012 October 9, 2016[4]

Ronning, Collins, Small and Menzies (b. in Zhangde, Henan) were Chinese born diplomats who possessed significant Chinese cultural knowledge and in the case of Ronning near-native language skills. Paynter, Mulroney and Saint-Jacques had served as diplomats to China prior to being appointed ambassador.

John Lawrence Paynter died in Vancouver 10 months into his posting while still serving as Canada's Ambassador to China.

  1. ^ Shyu, Larry N. (2008). "Diplomatic relations through wartime alliance: the Republic of China's relations with Canada". Journal of Modern Chinese History. 2 (2): 185. However, formal diplomatic relations were not established until 1942, when Canada and the Republic of China (ROC) became wartime allies in their common fight against the Axis powers. 
  2. ^ Hilliker, John; Barry, Donald (1995). Canada's Department of External Affairs. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press. p. 56. ISBN 9780773507388. The Nationalist Chinese embassy remained in Ottawa, but Canada did not send a representative to the government in Taiwan (Formosa). 
  3. ^ a b Hilliker, John; Barry, Donald (1995). Canada's Department of External Affairs. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press. p. 55. ISBN 9780773507388. Hampered by communications problems, the ambassador, T. C. Davis, had to borrow US dollars from private sources, such as the Shell Petroleum Company, to keep the mission operating under the new regime. He was instructed to return to Ottawa in July 1949, leaving the first secretary, Chester Ronning, to take over as chargé d'affaires. 
  4. ^ "Canada names Guy Saint-Jacques ambassador to China". CBC.ca. 2012-09-26. Retrieved 2012-09-26. 

See also[edit]