WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A high-ranking US envoy urged Canada on Monday over Ottawa’s upcoming decision whether to allow China’s Huawei Technologies to participate in its 5G network, a decision Washington opposes said officials.
Last year, the administration of US President Donald Trump warned Canada that it could lose access to lesser-known secret information if it did not block Huawei 5G technology.
Robert Blair, Trump’s special representative for international telecommunications policy, spoke of “the importance of a safe and reliable next generation telecommunications infrastructure” and the defense partnership between the United States and Canada, said l Embassy of the United States in a press release.
Speaking before the meeting, two U.S. sources said Blair plans to point out that a Canadian decision to include Huawei could jeopardize its access to U.S. intelligence services.
The White House has accused Huawei of being able to spy on its customers and maintain close ties to the Chinese government, allegations denied by Huawei.
Washington’s campaign to outsmart the leading producer of telecommunications equipment was struck by Britain’s plans to give Huawei a limited role in its next generation wireless network.
One of the cabinet members who will decide the fate of Huawei 5G equipment in Canada, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair told lawmakers on Monday that “there is a very robust and important discussion between us and our allies “about Huawei.
Ottawa sources directly aware of government deliberations say a decision is still several months away.
A spokesperson for Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said Monday’s meeting “was part of regular and ongoing conversations with the United States regarding national security and continental telecommunications”.
Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, who will also have a say in the Ottawa decision, told Canadian Broadcasting Corp on Friday that Canada “will not be intimidated by any other jurisdiction” about the decision. .
When asked if he was referring to the Trump administration, he replied “maybe it was the wrong choice of words … we will not be influenced by other jurisdictions”.
(Report by Alexandra Alper in Washington and David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)