By Tony Royden-
A Canadian citizen is to be tried on drug charges in the Chinese port city of Dalian, Chinese state media reported amid already-heightened tensions between Beijing and Ottawa.
A tabloid known as the Global Times -run by the Communist Party of China- has identified the suspect as Robert Lloyd Schellenberg. Schellenberg is due for an appeal hearing for Saturday, Dec. 29 after he was earlier found to have smuggled “an enormous amount of drugs” into China, according to Dalian.runsky.com, a news portal operated by Dalian authorities.The Dalian government news portal ironically stated that Schellenberg’s audacity was to be admired given that he “actually dared to smuggle drugs into China.” It pointed out that Chinese criminal law offers “no sympathy” for drug crimes
The two counties have swapped disagreements over the fate of two Canadians detained on suspicion of endangering state security, and the subsequent arrest of Canada’s arrest of a high-ranking Chinese executive at the request of the United States. However, there will be no compromise of any sort from the Chinese government on matters relating to serious drug charges.
The high court in the north east province of Liaoning said on Wednesday a man it identified as Robert Lloyd Schellenberg would be tried on drugs smuggling charges in Dalian city on Saturday. China has very serious rules and punishments in relation to the smuggling of heroin. The Canadian man caught smuggling drugs only has himself to blame , and must have known the risks he was taking before he took it. Drug smuggling is serious in every country, but particularly so in China.
China executed a Briton caught smuggling heroin in 2009, prompting a British outcry over what it said was the lack of any mental health assessment. The two were detained after Canadian police arrested Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, on Dec. 1. Neither country has drawn a direct connection between the cases
There was no immediate response from the Canadian government.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said she did not have a grasp on the situation, but added that China had repeatedly made clear to Ottawa its “solemn” stance regarding its relations with Canada. The two were detained after Canadian police arrested Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, on Dec. 1.