U.S. Calls Canadian’s Death Sentence in China ‘Politically Motivated’

U.S. Calls Canadian’s Death Sentence in China ‘Politically Motivated’

Freeland has asked for clemency for Schellenberg and has called his sentence "inhumane".

For those that must travel to the US, the Chinese government is urging them to take extra precautions to safeguard their electronic devices and private data, according to reports.

Wanzhou, who is the chief financial officer of tech company Huawei, was arrested because of an extradition request from the US, which accuses her of violating American sanctions against Iran.

Beijing has not drawn a direct link between the detentions and the arrest of Meng, wanted by United States authorities for allegedly misleading multinational banks about Iran-linked transactions.

China has not linked any of the three Canadians' cases to Meng's arrest but has warned of severe consequences if she was not immediately released.

But the decision to question Kovrig about his diplomatic career, which began in 2014 as first secretary and vice-consul at the Canadian embassy in Beijing, has raised concerns for other diplomats based in the Chinese capital.

"Some of the statements from our partners have said that it's very important that the Vienna Convention be upheld, " she said. Canada brought in Chinese Ambassador Lu Shaye to discuss the case, the newspaper said, citing unnamed officials.

"Playing hostage politics, China rushes the retrial of a Canadian suspect and sentences him to death in a fairly transparent attempt to pressure Canada", Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth said in a tweet.

The move comes after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed extreme concern over a court in China imposing the death penalty on a Canadian.

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On Wednesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Beijing "isn't anxious at all" about facing opposition from the global community, according to an English transcript of her remarks that was published on a Chinese government website. That's what you do with allies and your best friend. The death penalty for the Canadian national has been criticized by the United Nations, as well as several countries, including Australia.

"When facing such a serious drug smuggling crime, I think any responsible government that takes resolute measures to deal with the case just reflects the responsible attitude and strong determination of the government in protecting the lives and safety of its people, " Hua said.

Asked about Hua's comments later Wednesday, Freeland said: "As to the notion that the number of allies Canada has is limited, I would just point to the fact that the EU alone, which has issued a statement, is a union of 28 countries".

Separately, Canadian citizen Ti-Anna Wang and her family were prevented from transiting through Beijing en route from South Korea to Canada on Wednesday, according to a report by the Toronto Star.

Bruce Heyman, a former US ambassador to Canada, said the USA and other allies need to take a stronger public stance supporting Canada.

"We really understand how hard the situation is, and I think the Schellenberg family has our country's sympathy".

He blames the decline on the diplomatic battle that's brewing between Canada and China - the primary source of his customers.

"The remarks by the relevant Canadian person lack the most basic awareness of the legal system", Hua said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his federal cabinet met privately with six senior ambassadors Wednesday evening as Canada mounts an worldwide campaign to gain global allies in its escalating diplomatic battle with China.

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