World

BEIJING – An inquiry has begun into Dutch ambassador to China Ron Keller amid reports that he had a secret relationship with a local employee, the Dutch foreign ministry said on Monday.

An experienced diplomat, Ron Keller moved to Beijing in December 2015 after postings in Turkey and Russia.

However, Mr Keller would not remain actively in post while an investigation took place, according to the ministry.

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Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported on Monday that the relationship between Keller and a Chinese woman working in the embassy had only recently come to light.

Foreign diplomats in China are often advised against having relationships with local staff because of the risk of a so-called honey trap, involving local women acting as agents for the Chinese government.

The foreign ministry made no comment on the report but said in a statement that it was investigating a complaint and always took complaints seriously, the BBC reported.

Keller is currently in the Netherlands, De Telegraaf reports, adding that his return to Beijing is considered unlikely. He has not commented on his suspension.