China sentences Canadian to death over drug charge

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BEIJING, China (AFP) — A Chinese court sentenced a Canadian national to death last Thursday in a ruling that could further inflame tensions between China and Canada.

The Guangzhou Intermediate Court said in a statement it had handed Xu Weihong a death sentence for manufacturing drugs, and said all his personal property would be confiscated.

According to China’s State-run Global Times, Xu had bought raw materials and tools for drug production in October 2016 and worked with an accomplice, Wen Guanxiong, to make ketamine.

The drugs were made in Wen’s home and stored in Xu’s residence in Guangzhou, with public security officers seizing more than 120 kilogrammes of ketamine from the pair, the report added.

On Thursday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular briefing that “Chinese judicial organs handle all criminals of different nationalities according to law”.

Referring to the latest case involving Xu, Wang added: “I don’t think this should have any impact on China-Canada relations.”

Canada is “profoundly concerned” about Xu Weihong’s death sentence, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Franois-Philippe Champagne said Thursday.

“We oppose the death penalty at every step of the way,” Champagne said in an interview with Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

“We have said it time and time and time again to the Chinese Government and will continue to do that,” he said.

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