The Canadian arm of the Chinese tech giant Huawei has stated that it plans to target specific Liberal cabinet ministers as part of its “diplomatically forceful” lobbying plan to get into Canada’s 5G network.
Only yesterday, the Liberal government unveiled its new 36 member cabinet. Among those ministers identified by the company’s government affairs unit as potential lobby targets were: Minister of Finance Bill Morneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade Mary Ng, President of the Privy Council Dominic LeBlanc, and Minister of Innovations, Science and Industry Navdeep Bains.
“There’s always going to be naysayers that they don’t want to meet with you…[but] there are a lot of smart parliamentarians who were either re-elected or newly elected,” said the company’s vice-president of government affairs.
Huawei is at the center of a diplomatic dispute between Canada and China over the ongoing extradition of the company’s CFO Meng Wanzhou. Wanzhou is wanted by American authorities for allegedly breaking international sanctions on Iran. She is facing 13 fraud charges for conducting business with Iran through arm-length companies.
In response to Wanzhou’s arrest at the Vancouver International Airport, the Chinese government detained two Canadian citizens, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, on trumped-up charges.
“Five Eyes” intelligence allies have warned Canada to not allow the Chinese company access to the country’s 5G network because it could compromise national security due to the potential of back door access for the Chinese government. The technology has already been banned in the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
Recently, former U.S. national security advisor and ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice underscored the serious threat that Huawei poses to the country and its allies.
“It gives the Chinese the ability, if they choose to use it, to access all kinds of information. Civilian intelligence, military, that could be very, very compromising,” said Rice
“That will throw the Five Eyes collaboration, which serves the security interests of every Canadian and every American, into jeopardy. It just can’t be done.”
Prior to the election, the Trudeau government decided to delay the decision on whether it will ban the company until after a new government has been elected.
The newly appointed Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair stated yesterday that there was no “specific timetable” on the decision but that it would be a “priority” for the new government.