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China court sentences fourth Canadian national to death for drug crimes

The Foshan Intermediate People’s Court sentenced Canadian citizen Ye Jianhui to death Friday for manufacturing and transporting drugs. It was the fourth death sentence imposed on a Canadian by a Chinese court since Meng Wanzhou, the Chief Financial Officer of Huawei Technologies Company, was arrested in Vancouver in 2018 on a US warrant.

The death penalty came just a day after another Canadian, Xu Weihong, was sentenced to death by the Guangzhou Intermediate People’s Court for making drugs. According to a local report, police found 218 kilograms (481 pounds) of crystal methamphetamine and ecstasy in the room used by Ye and five other men. Among the five Chinese nationals, one of them has been sentenced to death while the others have been sentenced to imprisonment.

Wang Wenbing, the spokesperson of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said “[d]rug-related crimes are considered serious crimes worldwide. Chinese law retains the death sentence and controls its application strictly.” He also said, “Chinese law stipulates that every criminal is equal in the application of the law and China’s judicial authorities handle cases involving criminals of different nationalities in accordance with the law.”

John Babcock, the spokesperson of the Canadian Foreign Ministry, said: “Canada requests clemency for all Canadian citizens who have been sentenced to death, and calls on China to grant clemency to Mr Xu.” While tensions between China and Canada over sentencing have risen since Meng’s arrest, China has denied that the cases are linked.