drug smuggling:China condemns Canadians to death
A Chinese court sentenced a Canadian to death on Monday for drug smuggling. The verdict is also explosive against the backdrop of Canada’s tense relationship with China. Details of the verdict wanted to inform the court in the northeast Chinese province of Liaoning later. Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg was initially sentenced to 15 years in prison in November.
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told journalists Monday that his government is extremely concerned about this decision, which he described as “arbitrary.” The Canadian government is campaigning for Canadians worldwide who face the death penalty. “We will continue to do that and have done so in this case too.”
The Canadian government tightened its travel advisories for China on Monday night and now warns Canadian citizens against “arbitrary enforcement” of laws in the People’s Republic. Canadians are therefore asked for extra caution.
Case of Huawei Finance Director Wanzhou leads to dislocations
Canada and China have been on a political front for weeks. This was prompted in early December by the arrest of finance chief of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, in Canada. The daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei is accused in the US of bank fraud in connection with sanctions against Iran.
Since then, two Canadians have been held in China, accused of being involved in activities that “endanger national security.” Some critics see the detentions as a Chinese retaliation for cracking down on the Chinese woman.
Both governments have called on each other to release their compatriots. In China, convicted drug smugglers face either long prison sentences or the death penalty. (dpa, afp)