Freeland said the cases of Schellenberg, Kovrig and Spavor will be "top of the agenda' for her next week when she travels to Davos, Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum".
The prime minister and Argentinian President Mauricio Macri "discussed the arbitrary detention of two Canadians in China and the importance of safeguarding worldwide norms, including judicial independence and respect for the rule of law".
Hua Chunying shot back that Australia should be thankful China is helping to address its drug problem by terminating Schellenberg.
Lu Shaye, China's ambassador to Canada, suggested in a newspaper article last week that the arrest of Kovrig and Spavor was "China's self-defence", but did not give details.
Ardern was not available for comment, but a spokeswoman for duty minister Grant Robertson confirmed that the Prime Minister had a "brief conversation" with Trudeau yesterday.
The two countries have been at odds since early December, when Canadian police arrested Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL], on a US extradition request as part of an investigation into suspected violations of USA trade sanctions.
Speaking to reporters in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sited policy that requires Ottawa to "always intercede on behalf of Canadians facing the death penalty anywhere in the world".
The court in northeastern Liaoning province announced that it had given Robert Lloyd Schellenberg the death penalty after rejecting his plea of innocence and convicting him of being an accessory to drug smuggling.
Trudeau said it should be of "extreme concern" to Canada's friends and allies, as it was to Canada's government, that China had chosen to "arbitrarily apply" the death penalty.
The ministry later issued its own travel warning, citing the " arbitrary detention" of a Chinese national in Canada.
Heyman argued that a lack of leadership from the Trump administration has empowered countries such China, and Canada is suffering the consequences.
He went on to say he hoped it was the last time Schellenberg would appear in court.
The report specifically mentions the nations comprising the "Five Eyes" intelligence community, which includes the USA, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
The Chinese media began publicizing Schellenberg's case after Canada detained Meng, who faces extradition to the USA on fraud charges.
Freeland urged all Canadians considering travel to China to consult the government's travel advisory.
Schellenberg's defense lawyer, Zhang Dongshuo, said his client plans to appeal the verdict. Among the unusual features of the proceedings, according to Zhang: the public nature of Schellenberg's December appeal, the swift scheduling of the retrial and the fact that the court announced its sentence just one hour after the trial ended Monday.
Trudeau had also received support from other allies, including the United States, the European Union, France, Germany, Britain and Australia. A source directly familiar with the case said Canada was unhappy because Chinese officials were questioning Kovrig about his work when stationed at the embassy.