'Strange': China lashes Australia over drug death penalty criticism
'Strange': China lashes Australia over drug death penalty criticism
Canada asks China's ambassador for clemency in case of death-row Canadian
16 January, 2019, 13:28
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has reached out to China's ambassador to ask for clemency in the case of Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, the Canadian who is facing the death penalty for allegedly smuggling 222 kilograms of methamphetamines.
Freeland reiterated Canada's long-standing opposition to capital punishment.
China is urging its citizens to be cautious about going to Canada.
Ardern was not available for comment today but a spokeswoman for duty minister Grant Robertson confirmed Ardern had a brief conversation with Trudeau yesterday.
"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 a death penalty, " Trudeau said.
Canada and China made a concerted effort to boost tourism a year ago to take economic advantage of the growing middle class in the People's Republic.
The prime minister says he is "extremely concerned as should all countries around the world" that China is choosing to act arbitrarily with its justice system and with its choice not to respect longstanding practices regarding diplomatic immunity.
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying shot back on Tuesday, saying Trudeau should "respect the rule of law, respect China's judicial sovereignty, correct mistakes and stop making irresponsible remarks".
According to Tourism Vancouver, China is the city's second biggest visitor market, accounting for 300,000 overnight trips in 2017.
China expert Anne-Marie Brady says New Zealand must join Canada in applying pressure on China amid an escalating diplomatic feud between the two.
Relations between the two countries - which only months before had been in pursuit of a large free trade agreement - turned icy in early December when Canadian authorities arrested Meng Wanzhou, a senior Huawei executive and Chinese citizen, for extradition to the US.
Shortly after, the Canadian government updated its travel advisory for China, warning its citizens to "exercise a high degree of caution in China due to the risk of arbitrary enforcement of local laws".
Of course, China is referring here to Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in Vancouver on December 1st at the request of authorities in the USA where she is wanted on suspicion of violating Iran sanctions.
Brady said Canada was contacting its allies for support, just as New Zealand would and had done in the past. Freeland thanked countries and organizations _ Germany, France, the Netherlands, the European Union, the United States, Britain, Australia, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia _ for "publicly coming out and speaking against these arbitrary detentions".
Since then, China has arrested two Canadians in apparent retaliation for Meng's arrest. "And that is very important". "We believe it is inhumane and inappropriate, and wherever the death penalty is considered with regard to a Canadian we speak out against it, " Freeland said.
The U.S. wants Meng extradited to face charges that she committed fraud by misleading banks about the company's business dealings in Iran.
Schellenberg has made a decision to lodge an appeal, according to his lawyer.
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