A Chinese court will hear the appeal of a Canadian citizen held on drugs charges on Saturday, in a case that could further test the tense relations between Beijing and Ottawa, Reuters reports.
The high court in the northeastern province of Liaoning said on Wednesday that a man it identified as Robert Lloyd Schellenberg would be tried on drugs smuggling charges in Dalian city.
According to a Dalian government news portal, Schellenberg was a Canadian and that this was an appeal hearing after he was found by an earlier ruling to have smuggled “an enormous amount of drugs” into China.
“Global Affairs Canada has been following this case for several years and has been providing consular assistance to the Canadian citizen” since the person was first detained in Liaoning, Reuters quoted a spokesman for Canada’s foreign ministry, known as Global Affairs, as saying on Thursday.
Citing privacy concerns, the spokesman said no further information was available.
The latest news comes as the Canadian and Chinese governments have sparred over the fate of two Canadian citizens detained in China on suspicion of endangering state security, and of Canada’s arrest of a high-ranking Chinese executive at the request of the United States, Reuters noted.
Canada has pressed for the release of the two Canadians who China detained this month.
The two were detained after Canadian police arrested Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou on Dec. 1. Neither country has drawn a direct connection between the cases.
Canada arrested Meng at the request of Washington, which is engaged in a trade war with Beijing.
The Chinese executive faces extradition to the US to face fraud charges in relation to Huawei’s alleged breach of American sanctions on Iran.
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