CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio is reporting that China’s ambassador has been summoned back to Beijing on short notice.
ABC reported on Tuesday that as recently as Saturday, the Chinese Embassy told Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs that Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu would be returning to Beijing in mid-June.
But ABC said Ma cancelled commitments scheduled for this week and left Australia on Monday.
The Chinese Embassy was asked by The Associated Press in an email to confirm the report and explain why Ma had left. An embassy official contacted by phone who did not give his name declined to confirm Ma’s departure, but said the email had been read and would be responded to.
Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs declined to comment.