Germany’s ambassador to China, Jan Hecker, who was a former foreign policy adviser
to Chancellor Angela Merkel, has died suddenly, less than two weeks after taking up
his post, The Foreign Ministry did not divulge the circumstances behind the
A native of the northern port city of Kiel, Hecker trained as a lawyer and had worked
as an attorney and a judge. He was married with three children.
His deputy, Frank Rueckert, would take over his duties.
NSL Learnt: Hecker was a university lecturer before becoming a foreign policy advisor
to Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of his appointment as ambassador.
Hecker, 54, had presented his credentials at China’s foreign ministry on Aug. 24.
“I mourn the loss of a highly esteemed, long-standing advisor of deep humanity and
outstanding professional expertise,” Merkel, who expressed shock at the news, said in
comments posted on Twitter by her spokesman.
In the Chinese capital, foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin also offered
condolences, when asked about the death.
China would provide assistance to Hecker’s family and the embassy, he added.
Hecker had appeared “happy and all right” when he hosted an event about German
artist Joseph Beuys at his Beijing home last Friday, a guest at the event said.
German and European Union flags flew at half-mast on Monday at the embassy in