14 June 2020 :
An Australian man on 10 June 2020 was sentenced to death in China on drug charges, federal government said, a development that could further escalate tensions between the two countries.
Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was providing consular assistance to the man, without identifying him.
Australian and Chinese media have identified the man as Cam Gillespie, arrested seven years ago on charges of drug trafficking in southern China.
China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on 13 June. Attempts to reach Gillespie’s family were unsuccessful.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of the verdict made in his case,” the Australian foreign affairs department said in an emailed statement to Reuters.
“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.”
Cam Gillespie was arrested in 2013 with more than 7.5 kg (17 pounds) of methamphetamine in his check-in luggage while attempting to board an international flight from Baiyun Airport in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, according to several media reports. Diplomatic tensions between Beijing and Canberra have worsened since Australia called for an international inquiry into the source and spread of the new coronavirus, which emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.