A court in eastern China sentenced an American teacher to death for the “revenge killing” of his former girlfriend on Thursday. Shadeed Abdulmateen, a former English teacher at Ningbo University of Technology from Los Angeles, met the victim, surnamed Chen, in 2019. Ningbo Intermediate People’s Court ruled that Abdulmateen had lied to Chen that he was divorced, and they soon developed a relationship, state broadcaster CCTV reported. Abdulmateen threatened Chen, 21, verbally when she tried to end the relationship in May 2021, the court said. NZ court allows murder suspect’s extradition to China in landmark ruling On the night of June 14 that year, Abdulmateen arranged to meet Chen, bringing with him a folding knife and stabbed her several times in the face and neck, resulting in her bleeding to death. The court ruled that it was a “premeditated revenge killing” that warranted the death sentence. CCTV reported that the court had notified US diplomatic staff in accordance with the regulations. More than 20 local legislators and members of the public in Ningbo attended the hearing. China’s state media did not say whether Abdulmateen would appeal. The US embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The killing triggered public anger, with some accusing the police of being slow to respond because the suspect was a foreigner. Hu Xijin, former editor-in-chief of nationalistic tabloid Global Times , commented at the time that crimes by foreigners in China have occurred from time to time, and their foreign identity cannot be used as a “protective umbrella for them to escape punishment”. However, he urged people not to focus on the suspect’s nationality or skin colour to avoid international backlash. China’s Criminal Law stipulates that the foreign offenders are subject to the same punishments as their Chinese counterparts, except for those who enjoy diplomatic privileges and exemptions. In recent years, most death sentences handed to foreign nationals have involved drug-related crimes. Chinese mother sues friend whose ex-boyfriend killed her daughter in Japan In August 2021, the Liaoning Higher People’s Court in northeastern China upheld the death penalty handed to Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg , rejecting his appeal against the sentence after he was convicted of smuggling methamphetamine in 2018. Schellenberg’s case added to diplomatic tensions between the Chinese and Canadian governments following the arrest of Huawei Technologies executive Meng Wanzhou and the detention of two Canadians on spying charges. Ottawa opposes the death penalty and criticised the sentencing as “arbitrary”.