Economy

'Strange': China lashes Australia over drug death penalty criticism

'Strange': China lashes Australia over drug death penalty criticism

The Trudeau government is seeking clemency for a Canadian sentenced to death in China amid growing tensions between the two countries.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said China is "not anxious at all" about mounting global support against the country's actions.

She is now waiting for an extradition process to be finalized, so that she may be tried in the United States for crimes relating to Huawei's violation of worldwide sanctions. China has continued to demand Meng's release, as its state media threatened consequences for Canada.

Schellenberg's Chinese defense attorney Zhang Dongshuo said on Wednesday that his client intends to appeal the death sentence, describing the condemned man as "relatively calm" despite the high stakes for both worldwide relations and his own survival.

Hua was equally dismissive of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's concerns about irregularities in the proceedings against Schellenberg, who spent the past two years appealing a 15-year prison sentence for drug trafficking, only to find himself suddenly sentenced to death instead by a court in the city of Dalian.

These questions - and more - are canvassed in a wide-ranging, four-part study exploring and measuring the nature and dynamics of Western Canadian identity, the way people in different parts of the country view each other and their institutions, and the depth to which feelings of alienation in certain parts of Canada are felt.

"We are deeply concerned with this case, as we are in a consistent way wherever the death penalty is applied", Mr Birmingham said.

Lu Shaye, China's ambassador to Canada, suggested in a newspaper article last week that the arrest of Kovrig and Spavor was "China's self-defence", but did not give details.

Canada has updated its travel advisory for China to warn Canadians of "the risk of arbitrary enforcement of local laws".

"We have very clearly outlined the case's facts and its seriousness", she told reporters.

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The report specifically mentions the nations comprising the "Five Eyes" intelligence community, which includes the USA, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

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

"With the case of Mr. Schellenberg, it's important for us to remember that we're talking about a human being, about a person", the minister said.

Yet China has reacted with fury against Canada after Canadian law enforcement officers acted on the U.S. arrest warrant for Meng.

A lawyer for Schellenberg, Zhang Dongshuo, said his client would appeal.

It urged Chinese citizens to consider their personal circumstances and "fully assess the risks of going to Canada for tourism".

Zhang said there was insufficient evidence to prove Schellenberg was part of a drug syndicate, or that he was involved in the smuggling of methamphetamines.

Robert Lloyd Schellenberg was initially arrested in China in 2014.

Drug smuggling is punished severely in China, and foreigners convicted of drug crimes have been executed before, including a Briton in 2009.


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