China is pressuring Canada to use 5G technology from Huawei, says the country’s Innovation Minister, Navdeep Bains.
According to CTV News, Bains told CTV’s Question Period in an interview China is “applying pressure” on Canada to use Huawei gear for 5G networks.
“Clearly they are applying pressure, and they recognize that they need to get ahead of this technology and this is, in a geopolitical context, a very important issue and there are many factors that we’re taking into consideration,” said Bains.
The Innovation Minister further added Canada is an independent country and will make decisions on its own terms and won’t be “bullied or pressured”.
“When it comes to the safety and security of Canadians, that’s going to be the central deciding component of how we move forward on rolling out 5G,” said the Minister.
Canada has not decided whether or not it will ban Huawei gear for 5G networks, as the decision continues to be delayed.
Out of its Five Eyes allies, Australia, the United States, New Zealand and the United Kingdom have placed either bans or restrictive measures against Huawei for 5G. Canada is the only country that remains undecided.
Diplomatic relations between Canada and China have become complicated ever since the daughter of Huawei’s CEO was arrested in Vancouver. A judge recently ruled Meng Wanzhou’s U.S. extradition case to proceed, as the Huawei CFO is alleged by the American government of breaking sanctions against Iran.
China on Friday charged two Canadian men, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, with spying. Both men have been in a Chinese prison for over 550 days, with their initial arrest happening after Wanzhou was detained in Vancouver. The move was seen as a retaliatory move by the Chinese government.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reacted on the situation to say he was “disappointed” at the charges laid against the two Canadian men, saying, “I can assure you that we have developed a certain expertise in what has worked to get Canadians home in very difficult circumstances over the past year.”