His Excellency Jan Hecker, Germany’s Ambassador to China, has died just one day after the appointment. Hecker took up his post as the 14th German Ambassador to China in late August.
The German foreign ministry confirmed on Monday that one of its veteran diplomats has died in Beijing. The death of Ambassador Jan Hecker becomes a shock for his family and colleagues. Hecker’s immediate family is currently in Beijing. He was survived by his wife, who also works in the embassy, and three children.
The cause and exact time of Hecker’s death remain unclear. Mr Hecker, formerly German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s diplomatic and security adviser, only began his Beijing job two weeks ago.
Commenting on the saddest news, a German ministry spokesperson said in a statement that all thoughts at this moment are with Hecker’s family and the people who were close to him.
Jan Hecker, 54, a former federal judge and coordinator of Germany’s refugee policy, was a close aide to Merkel, Politico reports. His appointment to China was seen as the outgoing chancellor’s bid to ensure diplomatic stability for German-Chinese relations. Prior to his appointment, he served as Director of the Department of Foreign Policy, Security and Development Policy and had been Merkel’s foreign policy adviser since 2017, the embassy in Beijing said on its official Weibo account.