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China hits back at Canadian criticism of drug smuggler death sentence

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 02:00s - Published < > Embed
China hits back at Canadian criticism of drug smuggler death sentence

China hits back at Canadian criticism of drug smuggler death sentence

China's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday said it was strongly dissatisfied after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused China of "arbitrarily" sentencing a Canadian to death for drug smuggling.

Michelle Hennessy reports.

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China hits back at Canadian criticism of drug smuggler death sentence

China's sentencing of a Canadian national to death on Monday (January 14), has drawn heavy criticism from Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau blasted Beijing for the conviction of Robert Lloyd Schellenberg on drug offences.

It's dealt a further blow to already icy relations between the two sides.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER, JUSTIN TRUDEAU, SAYING: "I will say it is of extreme concern to us as a government as it should be to all our international friends and allies that China has chosen to begin to arbitrarily apply death penalty in cases facing - as in this case - facing a Canadian." China's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday hit back at the comments, urging Canada to respect China's sovereignty.

(SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESWOMAN, HUA CHUNYING, SAYING: "The remarks by the relevant Canadian person lack the most basic awareness of the legal system." State television showed Schellenberg in court, where prosecutors claimed he was involved in organized international drug crimes.

He's accused of attempting to smuggle nearly 490 pounds of methamphetamines out of China in 2014.

At the time he was given a 15 year-sentence that was extended to the death penalty on Monday.

Schellenberg maintains he was framed.

His lawyer says he'll appeal the ruling on the basis that no new evidence was presented at the one day re-trial.

Late on Monday, Canada's Foreign Ministry updated its travel advisory for China, warning citizens about the quote "arbitrary enforcement" of local law.

Ties between China and Canada turned sour last year after the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, an executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei, at the request of the United States.

U.S. authorities allege Meng deceived international banks into clearing transactions with Iran.

China's subsequent detention of two Canadians, was labelled as a tit-for-tat reprisal by Western diplomats, though Beijing has never drawn a direct link between the cases and Meng's arrest.




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