China hits back at Canadian criticism of drug smuggler death sentence

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday said it was strongly dissatisfied after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused China of “arbitrarily” sentencing a Canadian to death for drug smuggling.

Speaking at a daily news briefing in Beijing, ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying urged Canada to respect China’s sovereignty and stop making such remarks.

A Chinese court on Monday handed Canadian Robert Schellenberg the death penalty for smuggling 222 kg of methamphetamines, aggravating already sour relations between Beijing and Ottawa following the arrest of a Chinese executive in Canada and China’s subsequent detention of two Canadians.

Reporting by Michael Martina; Writing by Philip Wen; Editing by Robert Birsel