Lai Changxing, China Fugitive Smuggler, Sentenced To Life Term

05/18/2012 04:34 am ET | Updated Jul 17, 2012

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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