Police in China have arrested the boyfriend of Amanda Wei Zhao, a 21-year-old English-language student who was murdered seven years ago and whose body was discovered in a duffle bag north of Mission.

Ang Li and his cousin Han Zhang were arrested by Chinese police this summer and are awaiting trial, Jenny Kwan, NDP MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, said yesterday.

Neither is expected to be extradited to Canada and Li will not face the death penalty if he is convicted, she added.

“Nothing will bring Amanda Zhao back for the family, their only daughter,” said Kwan, who was informed of the arrests by Zhao’s family on Oct. 3.

“I am happy for the family that that is finally — I hope — some closure for them. Their day in court is very important.”

Zhao came to Vancouver to study English and shared a Burnaby apartment with her boyfriend and his cousin.

She disappeared on Oct. 9, 2002, and her body was discovered by hikers near Stave Lake on Oct. 20. Li fled to China three days later.

Kwan and Mike Farnworth, NDP MLA for Port Coquitlam, sponsored a visit by Zhao’s family in September 2008 to meet with politicians and RCMP.

Afterwards, RCMP Supt. Dick Bent travelled to China to meet with officials. In mid-January, Chinese investigators came to Canada to review the RCMP’s case. Li was arrested in June; Zhang in July.

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