Germanyâ€™s Ambassador to China Jan Hecker has died, the German foreign ministryÂ confirmedÂ on Monday.Â
The cause and exact time of his death remain unclear. Hecker, formerly German Chancellor Angela Merkelâ€™s diplomatic and security adviser, only began his Beijing job two weeks ago.
â€œIt is with deep sadness and dismay that we learned of the sudden death of the German Ambassador to China,â€ a ministry spokesperson said in a statement.
â€œOur thoughts at this moment are with his family and the people who were close to him.â€
Heckerâ€™s immediate family is currently in Beijing. He was survived by his wife, also working in the embassy, and three children.Â
Hecker, a former federal judge and coordinator of Germanyâ€™s refugee policy, was a close aide to Merkel. His appointment to China was seen as the outgoing chancellorâ€™s bid to ensure diplomatic stability for German-Chinese relations.Â