The German Ambassador to China, Jan Hecker, has died suddenly less than two weeks after taking up the job in Beijing.
The 54-year-old’s death was confirmed by Germany’s Foreign Ministry on Monday.
Hecker, who was a former foreign policy adviser to Chancellor Angela Merkel, began his posting on Aug. 24.
Hecker had arrived in Beijing on Aug 1. with his wife and three children, according to German outlet Deutsche Welle.
The details surrounding his death have not yet been disclosed.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said there was no indication Hacker’s death was linked to his diplomatic role.
“I am profoundly shaken by Jan Hecker’s death,” Merkel said in a statement Monday. “I mourn for a highly valued, longstanding adviser of deep humanity and outstanding expertise.
“I think with gratitude of our work together and am happy to have been so closely tied to him for years. My deepest sympathy goes out to his wife, his children and his other loved ones in their immeasurable grief.”
Hecker had been Merkel’s foreign policy adviser since 2017 and then served as Director of the Department of Foreign Policy, Security and Development Policy.
He was the 14th German Ambassador to China.
Following his death, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin offered condolences when asked about the death.
“We are shocked to learn about the sudden death of Ambassador Hecker, who had been working actively to promote China-Germany relations since assuming his post,” he said.
With Post wires