Death penalty for Canadian escalates China-Canada tensions

Death penalty for Canadian escalates China-Canada tensions

Death penalty for Canadian escalates China-Canada tensions

"I find it extremely odd that the authorities could sit on a case for nearly three years, and then within two weeks find "new" evidence to suddenly sentence a man to death", said William Nee, China researcher for Amnesty International.

"We urge the Canadian side to respect the rule of law, respect China's legal sovereignty, correct its mistakes, and stop making irresponsible remarks", she said.

Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, the Canadian who was sentenced to death in China on January 14 after being convicted of organizing global drug trafficking, has been found guilty of drug crimes before, according to a report by the Abbotsford News.

Hua said there was enough evidence against the 36-year-old Canadian who was part of an worldwide syndicate and smuggled 222 kg of methamphetamine in China.

He had been sentenced to 15 years in prison in November.

Ms. Meng's arrest on December 1 at Vancouver airport has been dragged into the tech- war between China and the United States, over 5G technology, of which Huawei is a well-established frontrunner.

One day after China sentenced a Canadian man to die, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says officials have made a formal request for clemency.

Schellenberg was told he had the right to appeal within 10 days. "I don't know if the relevant person has carefully read the notice issued by the Dalian's Intermediate People's Court and Chinese law", foreign ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying said at the regular ministry briefing.

Schellenberg would be the first Canadian executed in China.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Canada-born Schellenberg says he had been visiting China as a tourist before his arrest Why was he arrested in China?


However, some analysts have argued that both the timing, and the publicity given to Schellenberg's retrial has been unusual.

In the weeks that followed her arrest China detained two other Canadian citizens.

The advice states that citizens should "exercise a high degree of caution in China due to the risk of arbitrary enforcement of local laws".

The move comes as China expresses "strong dissatisfaction" with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over his criticism of the death sentence given to an alleged Canadian drug smuggler at a retrial.

China's strict drug laws apply a sentence of "15 years, life imprisonment or death" as well as property confiscation for drug trafficking in amounts over a kilogram.

Before his arrest, on December 1, 2014, Schellenberg had prepared to flee to Thailand from Dalian but was arrested when in transit in Guangzhou, the court said.

A former Canadian ambassador to China, Guy Saint-Jacques, believes the Chinese likely interrogated Kovrig about his time as a diplomat in China and that would break the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations. "You are in one of the best places in the world to live", as reported by CBC.

Retaliating against Canada, widely seen as a benign influence on the global order, also offers fewer dividends for China than confronting the US, which is regarded by many in the worldwide community as at least as much of a bully as China, Zweig said.

Scott McKnight, managing editor of the China Open Research Network at the University of Toronto, said the sudden change and increased coverage in Chinese media was a "clear indication to us that the Chinese government is eager to politicise this specific case in its broader diplomatic spat with Canada".

"It's hard not to see a link" between the case and Canada's arrest of Meng, Saint-Jacques said.

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