OTTAWA (Reuters) – China's envoy to Canada on Thursday warned Ottawa that would be a consequence if it banned technology company Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd [HWT.UL] from supplying equipment to Canadian 5G networks, the latest blast in an elaborate bilateral conflict.
FILE PHOTO: China's Ambassador to Canada Lu Shaye holds a speech at the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) conference at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on December 14, 2018. REUTERS / Chris Wattie / File Photo
Ambassador Lu Shaye, speaking at a press conference, did not give details. Canada is currently investigating security implications of 5G networks, but unlike some Allies not having announced that Huawei equipment will be excluded.
"If the Canadian government forbids Huawei to join the 5G network, then it is not certain which kind of consistency it will be, but I think there will be consequences," Lu said through a interpreter, urges Ottawa to "make a wise decision on this issue".
The relationship between China and Canada became frosty last month after the Canadian authorities arrested Meng Wanzhou, CFO Huawei, for a US extradition request.
Subsequently, China detained two Canadian citizens, and this month, a court tried a Canadian man who had previously been found guilty of drug trafficking and sentenced to death.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused Beijing of arbitrarily applying the death penalty and urging world leaders to demand their support.
Lu said when Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland went to the World Economic Forum in Davos next week, she should avoid "micro-fund diplomacy" and not try to gather support.
"If Canada has a sincerity to solve these problems, Canada will not do such things. We hope Canada thinks twice before doing anything," he said.
In response, Freeland said Canada did not intend to change its approach.
"We will continue to talk to our allies every day about this situation," she told reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet retreat in Sherbrooke, Quebec.
She refused to give details of the notification in 5G technology. A Canadian source familiar with the case said the survey would not be released in the near future.
Huawei has a relatively small Canadian operation dealing with just shy of 1,000 people. But the company said early this year it had become the 25th largest research and development fund in Canada thanks to partnerships with local universities.
On Wednesday, a two-party group of US lawmakers introduced bills that would ban the sale of US chips or other components to Huawei, ZTE Corp ( 000063.SZ ) or other Chinese companies that violate US sanctions or export controls lion.
Further reporting by David Ljunggren; written by David Ljunggren; editing of Sonya Hepinstall, Leslie Adler and Tom Brown