China: Trudeau’s comments about death sentence for Canadian ‘irresponsible’

China: Trudeau’s comments about death sentence for Canadian ‘irresponsible’

China on Monday slammed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent comments about the death sentence for a Canadian, calling the Canadian leader "irresponsible," according to Reuters.

After a Chinese court last week sentenced a Canadian man to death amid heightened tensions between the countries, Trudeau accused China of applying the death penalty "arbitrarily." 

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“The remarks by the relevant Canadian person lack the most basic awareness of the legal system,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a news briefing, Reuters reported. 

“We urge the Canadian side to respect the rule of law, respect China’s legal sovereignty, correct its mistakes, and stop making irresponsible remarks,” Hua added.

A Chinese court convicted Robert Lloyd Schellenberg of being an accessory to drug smuggling and sentenced him to death earlier this month. Schellenberg has maintained that he is not guilty since he was arrested in 2014.

He stands accused of smuggling 222 kilograms of methamphetamines, according to Reuters.

“China is going to face lots of questions about why this particular person, of this particular nationality, had to be retried at this particular time,” Human Rights Watch’s China director Sophie Richardson told Reuters.

Trudeau shortly after the death sentence said it should be of “concern” to that China chose to “arbitrarily apply” the death penalty. 

The sentencing comes more than a month after Canadian authorities detained Meng Wanzhou, an executive with Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies, at the request of the U.S.

China shortly after Meng's arrest detained two Canadians, accusing them of endangering state security, according to Reuters. A third Canadian was detained and later released.