(CNN)The death sentence imposed on Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg by the Dalian Intermediate People’s Court in north-eastern China is an immense blow for the convicted drug smuggler and his family. China argues it is a simple matter of sentencing a felon according to the Chinese code.
But for the rest of the world, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the decision is far more sinister. Following the arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver in late 2018, Chinese state media warned Canada that Beijing may “take revenge” if she is extradited to the US.
Schellenberg’s death sentence, along with the detainment of two Canadians on suspicion of “activities that endangered China’s national security,” appears to confirm this theory.