German Foreign Ministry says ambassador to China has died


BEIJING (AP) — Germany’s new ambassador to China, a former adviser to Chancellor Angela Merkel, has died, the German Foreign Ministry said Monday.

In a short statement the Foreign Ministry said Jan Hecker, Merkel’s former foreign policy adviser, had died only a few days after taking up his new office.

“It is with deep sadness and dismay that we have learned of the death of the German ambassador in China, Prof. Dr. Jan Hecker,” the ministry said in a statement on its website. “Our thoughts in these moments are with his family and the people close to him.”

The ministry gave no further details as to when Hecker, 54, died nor where.

Hecker, who became ambassador in August, was married and had three children, according to his biography on the Foreign Ministry website.