Published: Thu, January 17, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Tour operator says business suffering as Canada-China tensions escalate

Tour operator says business suffering as Canada-China tensions escalate

"Led by the prime minister, our government has been energetically reaching out to our allies and explaining that the arbitrary detentions of Canadians are not just about Canada -they represent a way of behaving which is a threat to all countries", Freeland said.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Freeland welcomed the US statement a day after she said she explained the situation to Pompeo.

Asked to respond to the fact that Australia, among other countries, has backed Canada in criticizing China for arresting a former Canadian diplomat, Michael Kovrig, and a Canadian businessman Michael Spavor, Hua was dismissive.

"We expect at a level of principle that not only the death penalty should not be applied but also wherever people are in trouble the rule of law ought be applied fairly".

However, that translator, Xu Qing, who appeared as a witness, also claimed that Schellenberg and others had embroiled him in a plan to smuggle 222 kilograms of methamphetamine hidden inside tires.

She was asked several times whether China would accept Canada's request for clemency in the Schellenberg case.

"You should ask the Australian officials if they were happy to see these drugs being imported into their country", she said at her Wednesday press briefing.

The two countries have been at odds since early December, when Canadian police arrested Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL], on a US extradition request as part of an investigation into suspected violations of USA trade sanctions.

Canada's foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland said on Tuesday: "It is a complicated and hard moment in our relationship with China".

"If Schellenberg's sentence to death penalty for smuggling 222kg of drugs is inhumane and inappropriate, does that mean it's humane and appropriate to allow drugs to deprive more people's lives?"

On Wednesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Beijing "isn't anxious at all" about facing opposition from the global community, according to an English transcript of her remarks that was published on a Chinese government website.

"It is of extreme concern to us as a government, as it should be to all our worldwide friends and allies, that China has chosen to arbitrarily apply [the] death penalty", he told reporters in Ottawa.

The foreign ministry's consular-affairs office also published a notice Tuesday saying that Canada has recently "arbitrarily detained" a Chinese national - a reference to Canada's arrest of Chinese telecommunications executive Meng Wanzhou.

"They discussed the detention and legal treatment of Canadian citizens in China".

Schellenberg's aunt, Lauri Nelson-Jones, said the family's worst fears had been confirmed.

The report specifically mentions the nations comprising the "Five Eyes" intelligence community, which includes the USA, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

However, the Canadian maintains that he was a "tourist visiting China and framed by cri‌min‌als".

The U.S. wants Meng extradited to face charges that she committed fraud by misleading banks about the company's business dealings in Iran.

According to his lawyer, the Canadian will have 10 days to appeal the sentence.

Trudeau, who also spoke to Argentine President Mauricio Macri on Monday, has received support from allies including the U.S., the European Union, France, Germany, Britain and Australia.

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