Chinese Court Sentences Canadian Man To Death, Escalating Tensions

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He said his country will try to intervene.

The sentence comes against the backdrop of Beijing's anger over the arrest in Canada of a top executive from telecom giant Huawei last month on a U.S. extradition request related to Iran sanctions violations.

Donald Clarke, a China law expert at the George Washington University Law School, described the Canadian detainees - including Schellenberg - as "hostages".

Schellenberg says he is innocent.

The Canadian government has said it is following the case "very closely" and has provided Schellenberg with consular assistance.

Prosecutors argued that the original penalty was insufficient due to evidence that Schellenberg was involved in an worldwide drug trafficking operation, according to a statement published on the court's website.

The retrial took one day, and there is "no indication that his sentence might be reduced to a prison sentence", per the Times.

Since Wanzhou's arrest, Chinese officials have arrested two Canadians on suspicion of endangering state security.

His retrial at the Dalian Intermediate People's Court on Monday was hasty.

Meng was freed on bail and is under house arrest; Canadian courts are assessing whether to extradite her.

He was originally detained four years ago and sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2016.

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"It is of extreme concern to us as a government, as it should be to all our worldwide friends and allies, that China has chosen to begin to arbitrarily apply (the) death in this case", Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa. "I came to China as a tourist", Schellenberg said Monday before the verdict was announced, the AFP news agency reported.

The sentence comes following weeks of escalating diplomatic tensions stemming from the arrest of Huawei Technologies's CFO Wanzhou Meng in Vancouver on December 1.

The sentence comes against the backdrop of Beijing's anger over the arrest in Canada of a top executive from telecom giant Huawei last month on a U.S. extradition request related to Iran sanctions violations.

Earlier on Monday, China's government dismissed Trudeau's statement that Kovrig enjoyed some form of diplomatic immunity.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has denied that Schellenberg's trial and the arrests of Kovrig and Spavor have anything to do with Meng's arrest.

A Chinese person convicted in the same operation was given a suspended death sentence.

China said the claim of immunity makes Canada a " laughing stock".

"I would like to suggest that Canada's relevant people should first study and seriously research the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the International Law before they express their views, instead of being plausible and exposing themselves to ridicule", said Hua.

"It's hard not to see a link" between the case and Canada's arrest of Meng, Saint-Jacques told The Associated Press news agency. "They said that by arresting two Canadian citizens as retaliation for Canada's detention of Meng, China was bullying Canada", the ambassador wrote last Wednesday in The Hill Times, a Canadian publication.

Kovrig, who works for the International Crisis Group, is on leave from Global Affairs Canada, the country's foreign service. The move came amid a US campaign to exert pressure on its allies not to use Huawei, the world's biggest maker of telecommunications network equipment, over data security concerns.

"The trial will also send the message that China won't yield to outside pressure in implementing its law", it said.