German Ambassador to China Dies just Days After Taking Post

German foreign ministry confirmed on Monday that Ambassador to China Jan Hecker died, days after he took his post.

Hecker, 54, a foreign policy adviser to Chancellor Angela Merkel, began his new job on Aug. 24, the embassy in Beijing said in a WeChat post.

However, the cause and exact time of death were yet to be confirmed.

Germany’s federal office was “deeply sad” with the death of Hecker.

“It is with deep sadness and dismay that we learned of the sudden death of the German Ambassador to China,” a ministry spokesperson said in a statement.

“Our thoughts at this moment are with his family and the people who were close to him,” the spokesperson added.

Hecker was a close aide to Merkel. He was a former federal judge and coordinator of Germany’s refugee policy. His appointment to China was seen as the outgoing chancellor’s bid to ensure diplomatic stability for German-Chinese relations.

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