The Washington Post reports, "A Chinese court issued the death penalty on Monday in the retrial of a convicted Canadian drug trafficker, a sentence that is expected to sharply escalate China's diplomatic row with Canada and the United States. Robert Lloyd Schellenberg's new sentence comes after an appeals court this month sided with prosecutors, who argued that his original sentence of 15 years was too light given new evidence implicating the 36-year old Vancouver native's role in an organized drug trafficking operation. The case has been condemned by Western legal experts and Schellenberg's relatives, who say China is using Schellenberg as a bargaining chip in its efforts to free a top technology executive whose detention in Canada infuriated the Chinese government."
Reuters reports, "China's exports unexpectedly fell the most in two years in December, while imports also contracted, pointing to further weakness in the world's second-largest economy in 2019 and deteriorating global demand. Adding to policymakers' worries, data on Monday also showed China posted its biggest trade surplus with the United States on record in 2018, which could prompt President Donald Trump to turn up the heat on Beijing in their bitter trade dispute. Softening demand in China is being felt around the world, with slowing sales of goods from iPhones to automobiles, prompting warnings from the likes of Apple and from Jaguar Land Rover, which last week announced sweeping job cuts."
CNN reports, "Students and faculty at the University of California (UC) have been warned not to use messaging apps and social media while visiting China, for fear their communications could be used against them by the country's law enforcement agencies. The guidance from one of the biggest school networks in the US is the latest concern to be raised over Western travel to China following the December 1 arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at the request of US authorities. Meng, who was detained in Vancouver and is currently on bail, is facing possible extradition to the US on suspicion of violating US sanctions against Iran."