China sentences third Canadian to death on drug-related charges

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Beijing, Aug. 6, 2020 A court in Southern China on Thursday sentenced a Canadian citizen, Xu Weihong, to death for manufacturing drugs.

This, the court said, was the third such case since relationship between Canada and China soured two years ago over Canada’s detainment of a Huawei Executive.

The Guangzhou Intermediate People’s Court said in a statement on its website that it sentenced Weihong to death for manufacturing drugs.

Meanwhile, a Chinese citizen, Wen Guanxiong, was also sentenced to life imprisonment in the same case.

Weihong is the third Canadian to be sentenced to death on drug-related charges in China in the past two years, as relations between Beijing and Ottawa turned icy over Canada’s detainment of Huawei Executive Meng Wanzhou.

Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, was arrested in December 2018 in Vancouver on a U.S. extradition request. She faces accusations of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran.

However, shortly after her arrest, China detained two Canadians, former diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor, on accusations of espionage.

Critics say their arrest was done in retaliation for Meng’s detainment, while Beijing says Meng’s case is politically motivated.

In January 2019, Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, who was serving a 15-year prison sentence in China for drug smuggling, was suddenly retried and given the death penalty.

Also, another Canadian, Fan Wei, received the death penalty for drug trafficking after three months.
Drug convictions in China can attract long prison sentences or even the death sentence for trafficking.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Thursday that judicial cases were treated according to the law and that Weihong’s sentencing should not have any impact on China-Canada relations.

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