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Lai Changxing, China Fugitive Smuggler, Sentenced To Life Term

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This TV grab taken on July 23, 2011 from China's Central Television shows fugitive Chinese businessman Lai Changxing escorted by Chinese authorities after he landed in the Chinese capital aboard a civilian flight in the custody of Canadian police, in Beijing. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)
This TV grab taken on July 23, 2011 from China's Central Television shows fugitive Chinese businessman Lai Changxing escorted by Chinese authorities after he landed in the Chinese capital aboard a civilian flight in the custody of Canadian police, in Beijing. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)
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BEIJING — The Canadian government says it is pleased that a high-profile Chinese smuggler who had been extradited from Canada has received a life sentence, and not the death penalty.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade spokeswoman Patricia Low-Bedard says China lived up to its assurance that Lai Changxing would not receive the death penalty upon conviction.

Lai, once considered China's most-wanted fugitive, was sentenced to life in prison Friday for smuggling and bribery in a lurid corruption case that involved a decade-long extradition fight.

After Lai fled to Canada, Beijing assured Canadian authorities that he would not be executed if returned to China – a key Canadian demand.

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