Monday's death sentence for Canadian Robert Schellenberg for smuggling 222 kg of methamphetamines has become the latest strain on ties.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland conferred Tuesday and "expressed their concerns about the arbitrary detentions and politically motivated sentencing of Canadian nationals", U.S. deputy spokesman Robert Palladino said in a statement Wednesday. He said China has chosen to arbitrarily apply the death penalty.
Beijing and Ottawa have been squabbling since last month, when Canada arrested the chief financial officer of top Chinese telecom company Huawei on a USA extradition request related to Iran sanctions violations.
China warned of unspecified consequences unless Meng was released, and detained Michael Kovrig, a Canadian diplomat on unpaid leave from the embassy in Beijing, and Michael Spavor, a Canadian consultant, on suspicion of endangering state security.
"You asked whether China would like to listen to the request from the Canadian side, but I would like to ask relevant Canadian leaders or politicians whether they have truly and earnestly listened to China's solemn position?"
China is not putting pressure on Canada by sentencing a Canadian to death for drug smuggling, and any suggestion it was doing so showed "rude contempt" of China's law, its state media said.
Ottawa had issued a new travel advisory urging citizens to "exercise a high degree of caution in China due to the risk of arbitrary enforcement of local laws".
Schellenberg, who claimed he was innocent and framed by an acquaintance, has 10 days to appeal to the same high court that rejected his first appeal.
Yet China has reacted with fury against Canada after Canadian law enforcement officers acted on the U.S. arrest warrant for Meng.More news: White House Pulls Fast (Food) One on NCAA Football Champs
He was initially sentenced to 15 years in prison, which Schellenberg appealed last month.
Trudeau should "respect the rule of law, respect China's judicial sovereignty, correct mistakes and stop making irresponsible remarks, " foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.
Trudeau has reportedly spoken by phone with New Zealand, another Five Eyes intelligence partner which has a strong trading relationship with China, about the detained men.
"We have very clearly outlined the case's facts and its seriousness", she told reporters.
"China is going to face lots of questions about why this particular person, of this particular nationality, had to be retried at this particular time", Human Rights Watch's Washington-based China director Sophie Richardson told Reuters.
Schellenberg plans to appeal, his lawyer Zhang Dongshuo told AFP.
Schellenberg was sentenced to death Monday, following a second trial in China for being an accessory to drug smuggling.
Rights groups condemned the Schellenberg sentence while Guy St-Jacques, who was Canada's ambassador in Beijing when Kovrig worked there, expressed concern at how quickly the courts had acted.
Trudeau had also received support from other allies, including the United States, the European Union, France, Germany, Britain and Australia.