A court in China has sentenced, Fan Wei, a Canadian citizen, to death for producing and trafficking methamphetamine, a drug used for attention deficit hyperactive disorder, weight loss and improving athletic performance, according to the Jiangmen Intermediate People’s Court.
Fan Wei is the second Canadian to be sentenced to death this year. Ten others, including five foreigners, were also sentenced on Tuesday.
Relations between Canada and China have been frosty since the December arrest of a Huawei executive in Vancouver.
Canada has accused Beijing of arbitrarily applying the death penalty,
In January, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, another Canadian, had a 15-year jail term increased to a death sentence — prompting condemnation from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Beijing rejected his comments, saying that Canada was practising "double standards".
On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told journalists that Canada was "very concerned" by this latest death sentence.
"Canada stands firmly opposed to the death penalty everywhere around the world," she said.
"We think that this is a cruel and inhumane punishment, which we think should not be used in any country. We are obviously particularly concerned when it is applied to Canadians."
The latest case is likely to further inflame the months-long diplomatic row which started when Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei's founder, was arrested in Vancouver on
the request of US authorities.
Two other Canadian citizens, former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor, are also being held by China and face accusations of harming national security.
The Jiangmen Intermediate People's Court in southern Guangdong province said that Fan Wei was the leader of an international narcotics syndicate working out of Taishan city
between July and November 2012.
Another suspect, Wu Ziping, whose nationality was not made clear, was also death-sentenced.
Nine others, including an American and four Mexicans, received varying jail terms.
All were detained in 2012 but the trial held the following year.
Drug-dealing is punishable by death in China, and at least a dozen foreigners have been executed for drug-related offences. Many more are on death row.
However, the execution of westerners is less common. One of the most high-profile cases involved Briton Akmal Shaikh, who was executed in 2009 despite claims he was mentally ill and an appeal for clemency from the UK Prime Minister.