China warns citizens about 'risks' of visiting Canada amid escalating tensions

A general view of the Intermediate People's Court of Dalian where the trial for Robert Lloyd Schellenberg a Canadian citizen on drug smuggling charges will be held in Liaoning province China

Referring to the the Opium Wars, which unfolded between 1839 and 1860, Hua stressed that China will not allow drug dealers from any country to harm the lives of the Chinese people.

According to Bloomberg, China's State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, which directly oversees about 100 major state-owned firms has been giving direct warnings about employees travel to the US and USA allies.

Chinese businessmen who travel overseas for the government-run firms are being instructed to only travel with secure, company-issued laptops and should safeguard all important files on secure USB flash drives, reports Bloomberg.

Trudeau suggested that China had used its judicial system to pressure Canada over the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, who is also the daughter of Huawei's founder.

They also talked about the extradition case of a Huawei executive in Canada.

He was originally given a 15-year jail sentence, which he appealed and was instead given the death sentence.

'We believe it is inhumane and inappropriate, and wherever the death penalty is considered with regard to a Canadian we speak out against it, ' she said.

The countries have been at odds since early December, when Canadian police arrested Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, on a US extradition request as part of an investigation into suspected violations of USA trade sanctions.

A Chinese court on Monday sentenced a Canadian man to be executed for drug smuggling, prompting Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to accuse China of using the death penalty arbitrarily.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang attend a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Dec. 4, 2017.

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Speaking at a daily news briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Canada's "so-called allies could be counted on ten fingers" and did not represent the views of the wider global community.

China denied Ms Wanzhou was guilty and demanded she be released, saying otherwise "Canada must accept full responsibility for the serious consequences caused".

Trudeau expressed "extreme concern" that China had "chosen to arbitrarily" apply the death penalty. He has 10 days to appeal his sentence.

Zhang said there was insufficient evidence to prove Schellenberg was part of a drug syndicate, or that he was involved in the smuggling of methamphetamines.

Following Schellenberg's case, Canada issued a warning to its citizens travelling to China there could be a risk of "arbitrary enforcement" of laws.

Meng's arrest is viewed in China as part of a United States attempt to contain Huawei, one of the world's biggest telecommunications companies.

Drug offences are routinely punished severely in China.

The statement says the discussion included Freeland and Pompeo expressing "their concerns about the arbitrary detentions and politically motivated sentencing of Canadian nationals".

"The prime ministers discussed the detention and legal treatment of Canadian citizens in China and the need for all countries to respect judicial procedure and rule of law", a spokesperson said.

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