The Chinese propaganda outlet, Global Times, reported on Wednesday, August 11, that the recent death sentences imposed by the Chinese regime on two Canadian citizens are an intimidating message to Canada and other U.S. allies.

According to Breitbart, two Canadian citizens received harsh sentences in China this week. On Tuesday, a Chinese court upheld the death sentence imposed on Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, a citizen accused of drug trafficking in China. The following day saw the conviction of businessman Michael Spavor on espionage charges.

As reported on Thursday, Canadian businessman Michael Spavor, after being detained in China for 3 years, was sentenced on Wednesday by a Chinese court to 11 years in prison. This sentence was condemned by the Canadian Prime Minister and generated international disapproval due to the lack of transparency. 

“Today’s verdict for Mr. Spavor comes after more than two and a half years of arbitrary detention, a lack of transparency in the legal process and a trial that did not satisfy even the minimum standards required by international law,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Chinese authorities accuse Spavor of providing intelligence to a former diplomat, Michael Kovrig, also arrested. According to the Canadian ambassador in Beijing, Dominic Barton, the only evidence against the businessman is some photos he took of military planes parked at an airport.

The Chinese regime arrested Spavor in December 2018, shortly after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, the head of telecommunications giant Huawei, and began extradition proceedings to the United States on charges of fraud and evading U.S. sanctions.

The Canadian government charged that both sentences represented political acts of coercion and retaliation for the Meng arrest, Breitbart said.

It further quoted the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda arm, Global Times, as suggesting in a publication that the high-profile sentences were intended to intimidate Canada. 

“The icy relationship between Beijing and Ottawa will only be resolved if Canada is willing to commit itself to pushing forward bilateral ties and distancing itself from the poisonous impact of U.S.’ hostile policy toward China,,” the Global Times threatened. 

Meanwhile, while Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying denied that there was a political issue behind the Canadian condemnation cases and criticized Canadian officials for suggesting it, a former Canadian ambassador to China said otherwise.

Guy Saint-Jaques, who ended his ambassadorial duties in the Asian country in 2016, said in an interview on Tuesday that “The Chinese government has indicated that there would be no progress as long as Ms. Meng is in Canada.”

Meanwhile, Michael Kovrig, the former Canadian diplomat also accused of espionage who was arrested in China shortly after Spavor, is awaiting sentencing.

Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau said Wednesday that Kovrig’s fate remains uncertain and that they assumed the Chinese regime would sentence him shortly after Spavor.

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