Canada updates China travel advisory: 'risk of arbitrary enforcement of local laws'

China denies detained Canadian has diplomatic immunity

"Beijing will have to answer to the world why this particular case against a citizen of this particular country had to be retried at this particular moment".

The newer, harsher sentence has drawn attention now as many people are linking Schellenberg's case to the ongoing tensions between Canada and China following the arrest of Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou here. A third Canadian detained in December, a teacher named Sarah McIver, was returned to Canada.

Schellenberg appeared "quite calm" during a visit last week when the possibility of the death penalty was discussed, Zhang said.

According to his lawyer, the Canadian will have 10 days to appeal the sentence.

The court said Schellenberg had conspired with others in an attempt to smuggle 222 kg (489.43 lb) of methamphetamine from China to Australia in late 2014.

Despite the Canadian's insistence that he is innocent, his retrial lasted just a day, with his death sentence coming barely an hour after its conclusion, the BBC correspondent said.

Since Meng's arrest, several Canadian nationals were detained in China, including former Canadian diplomat, Michael Kovrig, and businessman Michael Spavor.

On Jan. 14, the Dalian Intermediate People's Court sentenced the Canadian to death.

Kovrig, a Northeast Asia analyst for the International Crisis Group, was on leave of absence from the Canadian government at the time of his arrest last month. Schellenberg, who was to have been deported after serving his original sentence, had lodged an appeal after being ordered in Dalian to 15 years in prison on November 20.

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

Officials in Beijing have denied that Schellenberg's sentence and the arrests of Kovrig and Spavor were in retaliation for Meng's situation, according to the Times.

Two other Chinese men have been involved in this case - one was sentenced to life imprisonment, another handed a suspended death sentence.

"According to the Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations and global law, he is not entitled to diplomatic immunity", Hua said at a daily briefing.

However, Hua said the allegation that China arbitrarily detained Canadian citizens is "totally groundless".

"It's hard not to see a link" between the case and Canada's arrest of Meng, Saint-Jacques said. However, due to the escalation of a diplomatic spat between China and Canada, the detention of three Canadians was officially revealed.

"On that, I think Canada's in relatively good position because we traditionally have been excellent at banding together and creating meaningful alliances and institutions with a large number of very powerful countries".

On Friday, Poland arrested a Huawei director and one of its own former cyber security experts, charging them with spying for China. The move came amid a USA campaign to exert pressure on its allies not to use Huawei, the world's biggest maker of telecommunications network equipment, over data security concerns.

St-Jacques said Canada should immediately call for a top-level meeting of foreign policy and security advisers from the two nations "to impress upon the Chinese side that they have to abide by worldwide law".

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