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China to pursue legal action against Canada over Huawei 5G ban

On Friday morning a statement was issued by The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Canada about the federal government’s 5G network ban on Huawei and ZTE calling it “political manipulation.”

A spokesperson of the embassy said the Chinese government will take “all necessary measures” to ensure Huawei’s legal rights are protected. 

“The Chinese side expresses its grave concerns and strong dissatisfaction to this,” wrote the spokesperson. “I want to emphasize that the erroneous actions of the Canadian side will certainly harm Canada’s own interests and international image.”

“China will evaluate this development in a comprehensive and serious manner and take all necessary measures to protect the legitimate and legal rights and interests of Chinese enterprises.”

After several years of delays and feet dragging, in an announcement yesterday the Liberal government it will ban all Huawei and ZTE products and services from Canada’s 5G network, citing national security concerns.

“We are announcing our intention to prohibit the inclusion of Huawei and ZTE products and services in Canada’s telecommunications systems,” said Minister of Innovation Francois-Philippe Champagne. 

“This follows a full review by our security agencies and in consultation with our closest allies. We will always protect the safety and security of Canadians and we will take any actions necessary to safeguard our telecommunications infrastructure.” 

Up until yesterdays announcement, Canada was the only Five Eyes Alliance nation that did not apply restrictions or a ban on Huawei and ZTE.

Critics of China embedding itself in to Canada’s network have cited China’s national security laws to be a major concern. Chinas national security law requires Chinese owned businesses to share all their data on demand with China’s intelligence service when government requests it.

“The state in China being what it is, even though Huawei is an independent company … [the government] would have the capacity to ask and demand Huawei’s assistance in collecting intelligence,” said former CSIS director War Elcock in 2020. 

“Facts have proved that Huawei and ZTE have been maintaining a very good record on network security,” the embassy claimed. 

“Without any solid evidence, the Canadian side decided to exclude Huawei and ZTE from the Canadian market under the pretext of the so-called national security, which has flagrantly overstretched the concept of national security, blatantly violated market economy principles and free trade rules, and undermined the legitimate rights and interests of related Chinese enterprises.”

After the announcement by Minister of Innovation Francois-Philippe Champagne yesterday, Alykhan Velshi, VP of Huawei for CTV Power Play a very different story about how the 5G ban is not entirely true in all aspects.

“we’re disappointed but you know as they say the devil is in the details. But one thing I can guarantee you Evan is that you know tomorrow next week and one year from now, Huawei will still be part of Canada’s community telecommunications network and yes even its 5G network because of the software um you know that that we’re currently in the process of deploying with our telecommunications partners with the knowledge of the government”

At yesterdays release A reporter asked Champagne how deep in to the 5G network are they prohibiting the using of Huawei and ZTE products and services. Is the government requiring companies remove Huawei and ZTE from all parts of their networks or just a select section the government deems part of the 5G network.

“We have dates, we have processes in place” said Champagne and they will be meeting with the [telco’s] companies . He says there will be a time line for when they need to remove the equipment but didn’t answer the question if it is for all sections of the network or just the outside, the radio access network portion.

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