Chinese Ambassador urges Canada to forge its own path on Huawei and 5G
China's Ambassador to Canada Lu Shaye says national security concerns about Chinese tech giant Huawei are "unfounded" and "baseless," pushing for Canada to decide for itself whether to go ahead with including Huawei in its core advanced 5G network.
"Canada is independent country, and you have institutions very competent to evaluate this problem," Lu told Glen McGregor in a broadcast exclusive interview with CTV Power Play.
He added that several "important, major countries" in the world have taken the "right, correct position" on this problem.
The United States has been pushing for its allies to shut Huawei out of their 5G networks in order to keep Chinese intelligence officials away from highly sensitive information. Canada has yet to make a decision on the matter.
When Trudeau was questioned on the subject during U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence's recent visit to Canada, the prime minister said Canada would draw its own conclusion based on evidence from Canadian security agencies.
"We trust our national security and intelligence experts to make recommendations on how we can ensure that Canadians are safe as we move toward a 5G world," Trudeau told reporters on Thursday.
That same day, speaking in reference to Canada’s co-operation with the United States in the case of Huawei's Meng Wanzhou, China's foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that Canada needs to be aware of "the consequences of endangering itself for the gains of the U.S."
Meng was arrested in Vancouver last December after an extradition request by the United States, prompting outrage from the Chinese government.
In his interview with Power Play, Lu also accused the United States of intentionally manoeuvring to hurt China's high-tech sector. He said the U.S. suppressed Huawei and pushed Meng's arrest as a tool to launch a trade war against China "because Huawei is the most famous high technology enterprise of China" and the US are trying "to hinder, to obstruct China's high-tech development."
Despite the tensions with the U.S., Lu maintained that Canada and China have room to mend fences. He said the current state of bilateral relations is "sad."
"We often say that the knots shall be untied by those who got them tied, and China is always ready to work together with the Canadian side and meet each other halfway to look forward a tangible solution of this problem," Lu said.
30 years after Tiananmen Square protest
June 4 marks the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests. In 1989, the Chinese government deployed troops against pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing, killing hundreds. China has since suppressed knowledge of the massacre.
In response to questions on Power Play about the anniversary, Lu said China's achievements over the past 70 years prove the country "chose the right developmental path" and will "continue to advance along the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics."
"That’s our position," Lu said.
However, for Liberal Senator Jim Munson – who covered the protests for CTV News at the time – the anniversary carries a different lesson.
"It was a night of great difficulty. You weren't reporting live, you were just trying to get out of there alive," Munson told McGregor on Power Play.
Munson, who has since returned to the site of the massacre, said walking through the square conjured up images of the ghosts of young people who died there.
"The most vivid memory, and I’m still haunted by it, is watching students pick up bloody bodies on trishaws, those tricycles with a little cage in the back, and throwing the bodies literally onto those tricycles and heading off to the hospital. You have to take a deep breath when you see that happening."
While Lu said the Chinese government has already drawn a clear conclusion on what he referred to as "the political disturbance in the late 1980s," Munson wasn't satisfied.
"I will never stop speaking out," Munson said.