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China Sentences Canadian Man To Death In Drug Smuggling Conspiracy Case

CNN video/CNN

A disturbing story coming out of China could put a strain on international relations.

Maya Wang, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch China, tells CNN that it is no surprise China gives harsh sentences for drug related crimes, but when it comes to Westerners, the regime has been known to take a softer stance so as to not upset diplomatic relations internationally.

That does not appear to be the stance China is taking with Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, who was given a death sentence for his involvement in an attempt to smuggle Methamphetamine out of China and into Australia. Initially, Schellenberg was sentenced to 15 years, for which China is in line with a lessor penalty, but the Canadian appealed the decision and ended up being sentenced to death instead.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has spoken out about the harsh sentence calling it "arbitrary" and "extremely concerning."

Wall Street Journal China politics reporter, Eva Dou, took to Twitter to break down the events of the story.

The reactions to the story are certainly mixed.

We foresee this debate raging on for sometime.