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Chinese court sentences Canadian to death for making drugs

It did not say what drugs he had been convicted of making, nor give any other details about his crime

A Chinese court sentenced a Canadian to death on Thursday for making drugs, the third Canadian to be sentenced to death for drugs in China since Canada detained a top executive of Chinese company in 2018.

The Canadian, identified as Xu Weihong, was sentenced after a trial in the southern city of Guangzhou, the Guangzhou Intermediate Court said in a notice on its website.

It did not say what drugs he had been convicted of making, nor give any other details about his crime. The court ordered his property to be confiscated.

Reuters was not immediately able to determine if Xu has a lawyer.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, asked about the case at a regular briefing, said drug crimes were very serious and everyone was equal before the law.

“China’s relevant authorities handled the case independently according to law. I don’t think it should have any effect on China-Canada relations,” Wang said.

A Chinese national, Wen Guanxiong, was also charged with making drugs in the same case and jailed for life, the court said in its notice.

The Canadian embassy in China did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Relations between China and Canada deteriorated sharply after Canada detained Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of telecoms equipment giant Huawei Technologies, in Vancouver in late 2018, on a warrant from the United States.

China last year sentenced Canadians Robert Lloyd Schellenberg and Fan Wei to death on drug charges in separate cases. Both men have lodged appeals.

Two other Canadian men – businessman Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat – were detained in China days after Meng’s arrest, and were charged in June 2020 with espionage.

China has denied that their arrest is linked to Meng’s case.

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