China rejected criticism from Canada over separate court proceedings involving two detained Canadians.
The Chinese foreign ministry said on Thursday that remarks by Canada over the cases this week of Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, whose appeal against the death penalty in China for drug smuggling was rejected, and Michael Spavor, who was jailed for 11 years on charges of espionage, were an infringement of China’s sovereignty.
The remarks came after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the sentencing of Spavor was “absolutely unacceptable and unjust”.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said China should immediately and unconditionally release Spavor and Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat who was also detained in China for espionage.
US said arrest of individuals should not be used a ‘bargaining chip” in international relations. Canada’s ambassador to China Dominic Barton said he interpreted the inclusion of “deportation” in the sentencing as meaning Spavor would be deported after the 11-year sentence.
The judgments against the two Canadians came as court proceedings in Vancouver to determine whether to extradite Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou to the United States to face charges of bank fraud were reaching the final phase.