Amanda Lang: Should Canada follow U.K.'s lead on Huawei?
Canada’s military wants Justin Trudeau to ban Huawei Technologies Co. from the nation’s fifth-generation wireless networks, according to the Globe and Mail.
Senior military officials including Canada’s top soldier have told the government they believe allowing the Chinese company a role in 5G would threaten national security, the newspaper reported Monday, citing an unnamed official familiar with the matter.
Donald Trump has been pushing allies to shut the Shenzhen-based tech giant out, citing concerns its gear could be vulnerable to Chinese spies. American officials have warned the U.S. might be forced to hold back secret intelligence from Canada if the prime minister gives Huawei a role, despite the company’s repeated denials it poses a security risk.
Canada is the only member of the so-called Five Eyes network of intelligence-sharing nations that has yet to decide what to do with Huawei. Australia and New Zealand followed the U.S. lead in banning it, but U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government opted for a mixed approach in a Jan. 28 decision that disappointed the White House.
Looming large over Trudeau’s decision is the case of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer. Her arrest in Vancouver at the end of 2018 on a U.S. extradition request plunged the northern nation’s relations with China into their darkest period in a half century. Beijing locked up two Canadians and halted key agricultural imports in the months that followed.
The rift with China contributed to a 16 per cent plunge in exports to the Asian powerhouse last year, the largest drop in data going back to 1997.
Trudeau’s public safety minister said last month the government is studying the U.K. decision. An outright ban could compel companies like BCE Inc. and Telus Corp. to rip out existing Huawei equipment to accommodate a new supplier, the Globe and Mail reported.
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