China has rejected accusations from Canada that it is arbitrarily applying a death sentence to a Canadian convicted of drug smuggling.
China’s foreign ministry warned Canadian PM Justin Trudeau to “stop making such irresponsible remarks”, accusing Canada of “double standards”.
Robert Lloyd Schellenberg was initially given a 15-year jail term in November.
But on Monday a court increased this to the death penalty, saying the original sentence was too lenient.
The ruling is likely to worsen a diplomatic row between the countries, which has been escalating since Canada arrested an official of China’s Huawei telecoms giant last month.
China has expressed anger at the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, on suspicion of using a subsidiary company to evade US sanctions on Iran between 2009 and 2014.
She was detained at the request of the United States.
Ms Meng, 46, denies the charges. She was granted bail shortly after her arrest, but remains under constant surveillance and must wear an electronic ankle tag.
Denying that Beijing had politicised Schellenberg’s case in response to Ms Meng’s arrest, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying urged Canada to “respect China’s judicial sovereignty”.
“The comments from the Canadian government are full of double standards,” Ms Hua said, adding: “The Canadians are the ones who have arbitrarily arrested somebody,” in an apparent reference to Ms Meng. (BBC)