Noé Chartier | The Epoch Times
Canada announced on Thursday that it will ban Chinese telecommunications companies Huawei and ZTE from its 5G wireless infrastructure.
Canadian companies will not be able to purchase the equipment and will have to remove the equipment already installed.
“There are many hostile actors who are ready to exploit vulnerabilities in our defences. We must redouble our efforts,” said Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino in a press conference in Ottawa.
“That’s why our government conducted an extensive and thorough security examination of 5G wireless telecommunications technologies, including those service providers who represent a high risk to the integrity of our telecommunications sector.”
The long-awaited decision will align Canada with its Five Eyes intelligence partners, which have banned Huawei or announced a phasing out of its equipment already used by domestic wireless carriers. The alliance includes Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Chinese ambassador to Canada Cong Peiwu said in December that banning Huawei would send a “very wrong signal to the Chinese companies,” reported CBC.
Concerns about Huawei surround its links to the to the Chinese military, which the company has denied, and critics also point to the Chinese national intelligence law requiring Chinese entities to support the state’s collection of intelligence.
U.S. officials told the Wall Street Journal in 2020 that Huawei was able to covertly access wireless networks around the world through back doors and had been doing so for over a decade, something Huawei denied.
Canada had deferred making a decision on whether to allow Huawei infrastructure in its 5G network. The United States on multiple occasions publicly warned that failure to ban the company could impact Washington’s willingness to share intelligence, fearing the data may be compromised.
China launched a series of retaliatory measures against Canada after Canadian authorities arrested Huawei chief financial officer, and daughter of the company’s founder, Meng Wanzhou, on a U.S. extradition request in December 2018.
Among measures taken by Beijing was the arbitrary arrest in China of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.
The two were freed in September last year after Meng reached a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Justice Department and was afterward released by Canada.