Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has urged Canada and other Western countries to bar Huawei from the development of their 5G wireless network due to espionage and security concerns.
In an interview with Fox news, Harper said that when he was a prime minister, his government was constantly concerned “about the penetration of Huawei and ZTE.”
“These are organizations ultimately tightly tied to Chinese security apparatus, and we think that there are serious issues there,” he said.
Huawei 5G network restrictions
When asked about whether or not the U.S. should ban Huawei technology, he said: “I clearly observe that America is encouraging western allies to actually push Huawei out of the rising 5G community and my non-public view is that this is one thing western nations must be doing on the subject of our personal long-term safety problems,” Harper said.
Harper’s comments come at a time when Huawei has been receiving criticism from other Western countries. Australia, the U.S., and New Zealand – which all belong to the “Five-Eyes” intelligence-sharing group – have all put restrictions in place.
Canada and the UK are also members of the alliance group but are yet to prohibit Huawei from developing equipment for their telecommunication network. Last week, BT also confirmed it had barred Huawei Technologies equipment from its core 5G mobile network when it goes online in the UK.
The former prime minister also refused to comment on the arrest of Huawei leader monetary officer Meng Wanzhou after violating a U.S. trade sanction against Iran, the Globe and Mail reported.
High Minster Justin Trudeau said on Thursday last week that he knew in advance about the pending arrest of Huawei executive, but denied any political motivation behind the choice to arrest Meng.
Harper remains convinced that the Chinese economy and its telecommunication market is becoming one of the most prominent sectors in the world, trailing only the U.S.
Harper went on to mention that it’s important for the West to start looking into the economic growth of China, not only as a potential competitor but as a “geopolitical rival.”
“We have a situation where the Chinese have wide-ranging access to our markets [while] our access to their markets is extremely limited,” he said.
He added that the U.S. trade deficit makes countries like China wealthier and has resulted in the loss of millions of job in the U.S.
“I think the United States has under long-term policy been essentially paying for the rise of an alternative rival, and this is simply unwise,” he said. “Frankly, we’ll get to the point in the long-term where China cannot be taken on, where it is determining the rules of the global system in arbitrary ways that simply suits its own interests.”
Written by Islam Soliman