Foreign affairs minister says no link between delayed Huawei 5G decision, detained Canadians

The minister says the government will make the Huawei 5G decision in the best interest of Canadians

Foreign Affairs Minister Fançois-Philipe Champagne says there isn’t a link between the two Canadians detained in China and the government’s delayed Huawei 5G security review decision.

Champagne told Global News there isn’t a link between the two matters after he was asked if the government’s 5G decision regarding Huawei is the final “bargaining chip” that it has towards the release of the two Michaels imprisoned in China.

“There’s really no link between the two. One is … we take the decision to protect the national security and the best interest of Canadians, and the other one is to continue to advocate for two Canadians which have been arbitrarily detained,” he said.

Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were detained in China in December 2018, a move that has been considered retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou.

These comments from the minister come as the U.K. has officially banned Huawei from its 5G networks, following the U.S. and Australia. Canada is now the only member of the Five Eyes intelligence agency to not ban Huawei from 5G deployment in some form.

The federal government is expected to make a decision regarding its Huawei 5G security review sometime this year. Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains has said the government won’t be pressured or bullied by other nations on this issue, and that the security of Canadians is the most important factor.

Huawei Canada has recently said it remains hopeful that it will be allowed to participate in the deployment of the next generation of wireless service across the country.

Source: Global News