Why Canada Must Protect its 5G Networks from Huawei
The introduction of 5G technology, along with its promise and challenges, has led to a transformational debate in Canada—as it has amongst many of Ottawa’s partners and allies around the world. Front and centre for Canada is the potential role of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei in such a next generation network. In order to address this question, the government of Canada has been conducting an intensive security review—which remains ongoing—on the implications of potentially including Huawei in its 5G networks.Magnifying the stakes of the looming verdict on Huawei, is an increasingly troubled relationship between China and Canada. Two Canadian citizens—Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor—remain arbitrarily detained in China since last December. Beijing accuses the two of stealing state secrets and guilty of espionage, but fails to produce any evidence to support such a claim. Kovrig and Spavor were arrested nine days after Canada’s arrest, on extradition request from the United States, of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou. Despite China’s attempts to downplay any linkage, it is clear that this was no coincidence and unfortunately the fates of Kovrig and Spavor have been unfairly tied to the extradition case of Meng. They have also rebuffed high-level Canadian efforts to have a dialogue on the matter.
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