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Canada’s new ambassador to China was already facing questions for his business ties

Canada’s new ambassador to China was already facing questions for his business ties

VANCOUVER—Canada’s new ambassador to China recently married the head of Asia Pacific operations for BlackRock, the world’s largest asset-management firm, raising concerns among former ambassadors and a democracy watchdog that Dominic Barton will encounter conflicts between his personal interests and public role.

The ambassador’s Sept. 4 appointment immediately drew questions from political commentators, who asked whether Barton — a veteran business leader whose posts included a seat on the advisory board for the state-run China Development Bank — is too connected to big corporations working in Asia to represent the full range of Canada’s interests. Others saw his business bona fides as strengths.