Canadians increasingly wary of close ties with China amid chill in relations: Poll
As Canada’s diplomatic strife with China persists, an overwhelming majority of Canadians would rather Huawei Technologies Co. not have anything to do with Canada’s 5G ambitions, according to a survey released by the Angus Reid Institute Wednesday.
Sixty-nine per cent of Canadians say Canada should not allow Huawei to be involved in the country’s 5G networks, the poll found.
The findings come just over one year since Canadian authorities arrested Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou at the behest of the United States. However, relations between Canada and China remain fraught with China now looking to prosecute the two Canadian citizens it has detained in what is widely seen as retaliation for Meng’s arrest.
In wake of the tensions, China also banned some imports of Canadian canola and pork, but China resumed its purchase of Canadian meat last month amid the spread of African swine fever.
Against this backdrop, Canadians are growing more frustrated with China, with 66 per cent of respondents saying they have an unfavourable view of country. That’s up from 51 per cent in the previous year.
Further, 70 per cent of respondents said they believe human rights should take precedence over trade opportunities in Canada’s dealings with China. Ninety per cent said that China cannot be trusted to uphold human rights.
Over half of Canadians, or 57 per cent, said they would describe the current tension between the two countries as “quite serious,” while only two per cent said the situation is “not serious at all.”
Meanwhile, fifty-five per cent of respondents said in retrospect Canada should not have arrested Meng in the first place.
On Tuesday, The B.C. Supreme Court granted Meng’s request for more documents to be disclosed as she alleges there was an abuse of process during her arrest last year.
The survey of 1,499 Canadian adults took place online from Nov. 16 to Nov. 20, 2019. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.