A court in China has sentenced Xu Weihong, a Canadian national to death for producing drug ketamine amid rising tension between the two countries.

The Guangzhou Municipal Intermediate Court disclosed this on Thursday August 6, 2020 stating that Weihong’s confederate Wen Guanxiong, had been given a life sentence for manufacturing the powerful pain killer that has recently become popular in China.

A report by CBC news indicated that Xu and Wen had gathered ingredients and tools and began making ketamine in October 2016.

Police later sequestrated more than 120 kilograms of the drug from Xu’s home where it was stored in Guangzhou’s Haizhu district.

The court also said Xu Weihong’s personal property would be confiscated following the brief court sentence.

Reports revealed that the relations between China and Canada weakened after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, in Vancouver in late 2018 following a warrant from the United States.

Last year, China reportedly sentenced Canadians Robert Lloyd Schellenberg and Fan Wei to death on drug charges in separate cases followed by arrest of two other Canadian nationals Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig who were charged in June 2020 with espionage.

However, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin commenting on the matter said Xu’s sentencing had nothing to do with the current China-Canada relations.

Like many Asian nations, China proffers severe forfeits including the death penalty for producing and selling illegal drugs.

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