Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Remarks
2019/01/16

Q: The Canadian Prime Minister yesterday spoke out about what he called “arbitrary” law enforcement in China. The Australian Acting Foreign Minister has now also spoken out on that, saying that the death penalty should not be applied in Schellenberg’s case, and also China should not reach a verdict so rapidly. Is the Chinese government concerned that it is facing opposition from the international community?

A: I can tell you for sure that we are not worried at all. You mentioned Australia in your question. Actually, you can count by the fingers of your hand the few allies of Canada that chose to side with it on this issue. These several countries can by no means represent the entire international community. For serious crimes posing great harm to the society like drug-smuggling, I believe it is the international consensus that such crimes shall be strictly handled and punished. As a Canadian media, you should know that people in Canada share this view. They also demand their government to severely crack down on these crimes, because that is what should be done to cherish, respect and protect people’s lives.

As for the statement made by the relevant Australian officials on China’s handling of the Schellenberg case, I find it rather odd. Does it have anything to do with Australia? According to the information released by the relevant Chinese court, Schellenberg was planning to smuggle more than 200kg of drugs to Australia. Does the Australian side wish to see this large batch of drugs arrive in its land and endanger its people? This Australian official owe an explanation to his people. Does he wish to see these drugs find their way into his country?

I have made clear China’s unequivocal position at yesterday’s press conference. It is highly irresponsible of the Canadian leader to use “arbitrary” to describe China’s trial of the Schellenberg case. In fact, the relevant remarks made by the Canadian leader, which lacks the minimal spirit of the rule of law, showcased what arbitrary means.

I also suggest you give another read to the interview of the official from the Dalian Intermediate People’s Court. In the handling of the Schellenberg case, the Chinese side has strictly followed the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Law and went through relevant legal procedures. Nothing procedure-wise has deviated from the law. When hearing the Schellenberg case, the Dalian Intermediate People’s court has ensured the right of the defendant’s lawyer to review the case files. All links in the trial met the term-related provisions of the Criminal Procedure Law, including case filing, formation of the collegial panel, serving of the summons and notices and the notification of the time and place of the court session.

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