CTV News reports that China has delivered a death sentence for a Canadia held in custody for manufacturing methamphetamine.
This is the second time this year that officials in China have decided to execute a Canadian citizen for participation in drug trafficking. In January, Chinese prosecutors pushed the the death sentence for another man after he was initially to serve just fifteen years in prison, according to another CTV News report.
While neither case is drectly related to the ongoing dispute over the arrest of a Huawei executive in Canada, the timing of these death sentences is suspect.
The decision to execute two Canadians is provocative and represents an escalation in tensions.
Last year, Chinaarrested thirteen Canadians after Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was taken into custody in Vancouver.
The government of Canada travel advisory page for China has not been updated in response to these death sentencs, but the site does warn that "Chinese authorities apply, sometimes arbitrarily, the death penalty for both violent and non-violent crimes."
Met with President Xi JinPing. We discussed the Canada-China relationship & strengthening our bilateral ties. #G20 https://t.co/aoPY1EL2fg— Justin Trudeau (@Justin Trudeau) 1447695701.0
The government also advises that Canadians "exercise a high degree of caution in China due to the risk of arbitrary enforcement of local laws."
Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland has condemned the latest decision to execute a Canadian citizen, according to the BBC.
Federal Conservative party leader Andrew Scheer, meanwhile, has called on the Trudeau government to take a harsher stance on China-Canada relations.
Justin Trudeau’s failed relationship with China and his slow response to this crisis is costing Canadian farmers an… https://t.co/5kWWT2xhjM— Andrew Scheer (@Andrew Scheer) 1556565411.0
Stay tuned for more news.