11:52 GMT25 January 2021
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    TORONTO (Sputnik) – The Canadian government will make its determination on Huawei’s participation in the development of Canada’s 5G network based on national security, Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said during testimony before a parliamentary committee.

    Champagne’s statement was in response to a question about Canadian telecom giant Telus’ decision to reject Huawei from its 5G network earlier in the day. Until Monday, Telus had been the only remaining major Canadian telecom company yet to rule out Huawei’s participation.

    “What’s most important to us is national security. That will always be the biggest thing when we’re dealing with something like this – protecting our systems in Canada,” Champagne said on Monday.

    Canada’s top diplomat assured the committee that the federal government is taking cues from state security services and is in constant communication with them.

    The latest Special Committee on Canada-China Relations meetings comes less than a month before the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is mandated to make a final decision on Huawei’s participation in the development of Canada’s 5G network.

    The stipulation was written into a parliamentary motion adopted last week that also requires the federal government to introduce a plan to counter China’s alleged "growing foreign operations" in Canada, akin to the plan introduced by Australia.

    Sino-Canadian relations soured after the Canadian authorities detained Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in 2018 at the request of the United States, to which China is alleged to have responded by arresting two Canadian nationals on charges of espionage in China.

    The tense relationship has been further exacerbated by Canada’s condemnation of the newly enacted Chinese law on national security in Hong Kong and a suspension of some bilateral agreements with the special administrative region. Beijing has said that it reserves the right to respond to any interference by Canada and holds Ottawa accountable for all consequences.

    National Security, Huawei, China, Canada
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