China has sentenced a fourth Canadian citizen to death on drug charges in less than two years following a sharp downturn in ties over the arrest of an executive of tech giant Huawei. Ye Jianhui was sentenced Friday by the Foshan Municipal Intermediate Court in the southern province of Guangdong, the AP reports. Ye had been found guilty of manufacturing and transporting illegal drugs, the court said in a brief statement. Another suspect in the case was also given the death penalty and four others were sentenced to between seven years and life in prison, it said. Ye's sentencing came a day after fellow Canadian Xu Weihong was given the death penalty by the Guangzhou Municipal Intermediate Court, also in Guandong province.
The court statement gave no further details of the charges against Ye and the others. However, the website of the Yangcheng Evening News said Ye and co-defendant Lu Hanchang conspired with others to manufacture and transport drugs, including MDMA crystals, between May 2015 and January 2016. Ties between Canada and China have nosedived over Canada's late 2018 arrest of Meng Wanzhou, a company executive and the daughter of Huawei's founder, at Vancouver’s airport at the request of the US, which wants her extradited to face fraud charges over the company’s dealings with Iran. Convicted Canadian drug smuggler Robert Schellenberg was sentenced to death in a sudden retrial shortly after Meng's arrest, and a Canadian citizen identified as Fan Wei was given the death penalty in April 2019 for his role in a drug smuggling case.
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