A court in China has sentenced three drug dealers to death in front of a crowd of 1,000 onlookers.

The three defendants were sent to be executed following the conclusion of the public trial in Guangdong's Huilai county yesterday (November 28).

The video, which circulated on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, shows how the men are paraded in front of witnesses as a loudspeaker reads out their alleged crimes.

The sentence was handed down for their involvement in producing and transporting illegal drugs. Local media reported the men's names as Tang Zhuorong, Tong Shaokun and Huang Haohua.

The trio were part of a group of eight people who were also charged and convicted by the Jieyang Intermediate People's Court. It is unclear what happened to the five other defendants.

Guangdong province has seen an upsurge in illicit drug activity in recent years. The southern coastal province is ideally located for drug transportation and border runs into Hong Kong.

So far police in the region have arrested 16,000 people and seized 10.6 tonnes of drugs in 2017, according to Xinhua news agency. Huilai country has been involved in 92 drug-related busts and arrested 133 suspects in 2017.

China open trial
A drug dealer is paraded by court authorities in Guangdong, southern China. Weibo