FIRST AIRED: December 30, 2018

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Transcript

00:00:01
>> A court in China has ordered a retrial of a Canadian citizen on drug smuggling charges. Robert Lloyd Schellenberg had launched an appeal after being handed a 15-year sentence in November. But prosecutors argued that sentence was too light. The court agreed. It's a case that could risk inflaming tensions between Beijing and Ottawa, which have been high since Canada's arrest of a high ranking Chinese executive at the request of the US.
00:00:31
Followed by China's detainment of two Canadian citizens on suspicion of endangering state security. In the case of Schellenberg, prosecutors argued during the appeal hearing that the Canadian was highly likely to be part of an international drug smuggling operation. And it played a major role, it's not clear when the retrial will take place.
00:00:53
Reuter's Ben Blanchard has been covering the story.>> And the Canadian government says that it has been aware of this case, it's been going on for several years. So you have to remember that China takes drug smuggling extremely seriously. There was a case in 2009 where a British citizen was executed in China for smuggling drugs.
00:01:11
China does routinely sentence to death people who are involved in smuggling drugs.>> In a move that could ease tensions, a separate Canadian citizen who'd been held in Chinese custody has returned to Canada. That's according to a Canadian government spokesperson on Friday. Local media identified the citizen as teacher Sarah McIver.
00:01:32
China's Foreign Ministry said earlier this month, McIver was undergoing, quote, administrative punishment for working illegally in the country. McIver was the third Canadian to be detained by China, following the arrest in Vancouver of Meng Wanzhou, Chief Financial Officer of the Chinese telecommunications giant, Huawei. A Canadian official said there was no reason to believe that the woman's detention was linked to the earlier arrests.