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China criticizes Trudeau’s comments on decision to hand down death penalty

January 15, 2019 12:54 PM
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BEIJING—China is expressing “strong dissatisfaction” with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over his criticism of a death sentence given to an alleged Canadian drug smuggler at a retrial.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying says Trudeau should “respect the rule of law, respect China’s judicial sovereignty, correct mistakes and stop making irresponsible remarks.”

Hua told reporters at a daily briefing today in Beijing that China expresses “our strong dissatisfaction with this.”

A court in northeastern China announced the death sentence for Robert Lloyd Schellenberg on Monday, overturning a 15-year prison term issued following his first trial in 2016.

That prompted Trudeau to say he was very concerned to see China “acting arbitrarily” by applying the death penalty and that Canada will do all it can to intervene on Schellenberg’s behalf.

Hua’s comments are the latest chilly turn in China-Canada relations since Canada detained a top Chinese telecommunications executive on Dec. 1 at the request of the United States, followed soon after by China’s detention of two Canadian men on allegations they were undermining national security.


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