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Canadian Prime Minister Reacts To China's Sentence Of Canadian Citizen

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the death sentence of a Canadian man convicted of drug smuggling in China is of "extreme concern" to Canada.
Posted at 6:37 PM, Jan 14, 2019

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is speaking out after a Canadian man was sentenced to death in China on a drug smuggling conviction. 

A court in northeastern China said Robert Lloyd Schellenberg was responsible for orchestrating a methamphetamine trafficking operation from China to Australia. 

According to CNN, court officials say Schellenberg's sentence was based on the nature and severity of his alleged crime. 

But Trudeau went a step further, saying the ruling is of "extreme concern" to Canada, and adding that China is "arbitrarily" using the death penalty. 

The court's decision comes as tension between the two nations has escalated following the arrest of a senior executive from Chinese tech firm Huawei in Canada last month. 

China has since detained two Canadian citizens for allegedly "engaging in activities that endanger [China's] national security," but the Canadian government said that move was retaliatory. 

The strained relations have also prompted responses from Western allies. 

Earlier this month, the U.S. State Department issued a new travel warning for China, warning American visitors that China can keep U.S. citizens in the country using so-called "exit bans."  

Schellenberg's attorney told Canadian media outlets that his client has 10 days to appeal the sentence. 

Additional reporting from Newsy affIliate CNN