cautioned its citizens about traveling to China due to “arbitrary enforcement of local laws,” China struck back on Tuesday with an advisory of its own, warning Chinese citizens to exercise caution when traveling to Canada.nly hours after Canada
The warning from China’s foreign ministry noted the “arbitrary detention” of a Chinese national in Canada at the request of a “third-party country,” urging Chinese citizens to “fully evaluate the risks” before traveling to the country.
Of course, China is referring here to Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in Vancouver on December 1st at the request of authorities in the US where she is wanted on suspicion of violating Iran sanctions. Meng’s detention infuriated Beijing which warned that Canada would face “serious consequences” if she was not quickly released. About a week later, two Canadian nationals were detained on suspicion of “engaging in activities harming China’s national security.”
Later that month, the High People’s Court of Liaoning Province ordered a retrial regarding the charges against another Canadian national, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, who had been sentenced to 15 years in prison for drug smuggling in November by a lower court, after prosecutors called for him to receive a harsher punishment, citing “new evidence” showing that he was part of an international drug trafficking syndicate.
On Monday, Schellenberg was sentenced to death, causing Canada to issue its travel advisory and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to express his government’s “extreme concern” over how China had chosen to “arbitrarily apply” the death penalty to a Canadian citizen.
At a press conference the following day, China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying blasted Trudeau’s remarks as “irresponsible,” asking if he had read the relevant court documents. Hua similarly criticized Canada’s travel advisory as unnecessary, suggesting that instead “the Canadian government should remind its citizens not to engage in drug smuggling… China is safe as long as Canadians, and others, abide by Chinese laws.”
It was only a few hours after Hua’s remarks that China’s foreign ministry issued its own travel advisory.