Europe News

Germany's envoy to China dies just two weeks into the job

Key Points
  • German ambassador to China Jan Hecker has died, barely two weeks into the job, the European nation's foreign office said on Monday.
  • Hecker, 54, a foreign policy adviser to Chancellor Angela Merkel, had just taken up his post on Aug. 24, the embassy in the Chinese capital said in a posting on its social media Wechat account.
Jan Hecker, head of the government coordination section on refugees, arrives for the weekly German federal Cabinet meeting on January 6, 2016 in Berlin, Germany.
Adam Berry | Getty Images

German ambassador to China Jan Hecker has died, barely two weeks into the job, the European nation's foreign office said on Monday.

Hecker, 54, a foreign policy advisor to Chancellor Angela Merkel, had just taken up his post on Aug. 24, the embassy in the Chinese capital said in a posting on its social media Wechat account.

The cause of death has yet to be confirmed.

"It is with deep sadness and dismay that we learned of the sudden death of the German ambassador to China," Germany's Federal Foreign Office said on its website.

An embassy spokesman declined further comment to Reuters.

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.