Drug Trafficking: China Sentences Australian To Death
Guangzhou Intermediate Peoples Court has sentenced an Australian national to death in China for drug trafficking.
The ruling might further deepen the tension between Canberra and Beijing.
According to an AFP report, Australia's foreign ministry expressed deep sadness by the verdict and reiterated the country opposition to capital punishment.
The convict identified in Chinese pinyin as "Kamu Jielaisibi" is identified by Australian media as Cam Gillespie was sentenced on Wednesday, according to the official court website.
AFP says there were no details of the defendant besides his Australian nationality.
The Chinese local media reports that the man was arrested at Guangzhou Baiyun Airport, northwest of Hong Kong in December 2013.
He was caught with 7.5 kilograms (16 pounds) of methamphetamine in his luggage, the report says.
Australia's foreign ministry is currently providing assistance to the man but his identity is withheld for privacy, a spokesman for Australian foreign ministry said.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of the verdict made in his case,” the spokesperson said, adding that Australia “opposes the death penalty, in all circumstances for all people.”
“We support the universal abolition of the death penalty and are committed to pursuing this goal through all the avenues available to us.”
Despite China being Australia's largest trading partner, major source of lucrative international students and tourists, the two countries have had their shares of rift.
The trouble worsened after Australia called for an independent probe into the origin of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
China in recent months had imposed tariffs on Australian and issued warnings to tourists and students over racism against Asians in the country over COVID-19-linked attacks.
However, the Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison debunked the allegation of racist treatment against Chinese nationals in the country, describing it as "rubbish".
PM Morrison also said his government would not allow Chinese to intimidate or threaten the country, or “trade our values in response to coercion from wherever it comes”.
In 2019, China also sentenced two Canadian nationals to death on drug relating charges which escalated a diplomatic row between the two countries that led to the arrest of top Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.
Every effort to plead for clemency for the two arrested Canadians have fallen on deaf ears.
After Meng's arrest, China immediately arrested two Canadians, accusing them of spying, but others argued that the arrest was in retaliation for meng's arrest.©Standard Gazette, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s publisher is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Standard Gazette with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.