Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola MP Dan Albas. —Image: contributed

Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola MP Dan Albas. —Image: contributed

How to deal with a Chinese tech giant

Should Canada let Huawei participate in its rollout of 5G network?

  • Jan. 30, 2019 4:24 p.m.

If you follow virtually any Canadian news source, you have likely heard about the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei.

Recently I was asked why there was so much media reporting about Huawei.

The answer is not a simple one.

Huawei is a world-leading technology company that among other activities produces hardware such as servers and other technologies that enable 5G wireless networks. 5G networks enable autonomous vehicles and other automated machinery to operate and is widely considered to be essential for the emerging new digital economy.

While Huawei is not the only company that manufactures 5G devices, it is the most controversial. Currently many of Canada’s allies, including the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Japan have banned Huawei citing security concerns. Other countries, including Canada, are reviewing the status of Huawei.

One of the concerns is that a new law in China requires any domestic firm to assist the Chinese government when requested to do so. Another concern is allegations that Huawei has circumvented trade sanctions against countries such as Iran and North Korea.

It is based on these types of allegations that the United States requested Canada arrest Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver for extradition to the U.S. where she will face charges such as bank fraud, obstruction of justice and theft of technology by the United States Justice Department.

In a response that many believe is related to this action, several Canadians in China have now been imprisoned in some cases under very questionable circumstances.

The situation has become very complicated diplomatically as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was forced to fire John McCallum, the former Liberal cabinet minister who Trudeau appointed, as Canada’s ambassador to China.

It should be noted Huawei denies accusations of corporate espionage and spying. But that said, the Polish government recently arrested a Huawei employee on spying charges. The Czech government has also warned its citizens against using Huawei equipment for security reasons.

China has warned Canada there will be consequences to to the country if Huawei is banned.

Conservatives believe Canada, as a member of the “Five Eyes” intelligence network, should stand with its allies in banning Huawei from participating in our 5G rollout in Canada.

To date the Liberal Government continues to state it is reviewing the situation and no decision has been made.

My question this week: Do you agree that Huawei should be banned from participating in the 5G network in Canada?

Dan Albas is the Conservative MP for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.

Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll-free at 1-800-665-8711.