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BEIJING: A Chinese court on Tuesday upheld the death sentence passed on a Canadian citizen for drug smuggling - one of a number of legal cases to severely damage relations between Ottawa and Beijing.

Robert Lloyd Schellenberg was originally sentenced to 15 years in prison in late 2018, but that was changed to the death penalty just months after a diplomatic rift exploded between Ottawa and Beijing over the detention of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

The upholding of the death sentence comes a week after Meng began the latest round of her court battle in Canada against US extradition, a case that has infuriated China.

A ruling was also expected Wednesday in the case of Michael Spavor, the Canadian ambassador said, one of two Canadians detained by China for espionage in the wake of Meng's arrest in Canada.

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