China wants 'nondiscriminatory' treatment of Huawei; 76% of Canadians want it banned from 5G - Korea Times
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China wants 'nondiscriminatory' treatment of Huawei; 76% of Canadians want it banned from 5G

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Supporters of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou gather at Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport in Shenzhen in southern China's Guangdong Province, Sept. 25. AP-Yonhap
Supporters of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou gather at Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport in Shenzhen in southern China's Guangdong Province, Sept. 25. AP-Yonhap

China's foreign ministry has called on Canada to be "nondiscriminatory" toward Huawei Technologies and other mainland firms after a survey found more than three-quarters of Canadians want the tech giant banned from the country's 5G networks.

The Nanos poll was conducted for The Globe and Mail newspaper after China released two Canadians whose detention for almost three years was viewed by Ottawa as hostage diplomacy.

Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were released last month on the same day as Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who was being held under partial house arrest in Vancouver until she struck a deal with the U.S. that resulted in prosecutors dropping their request for her extradition on fraud charges.

Nanos found that 76 percent of respondents wanted Huawei banned, up from 53 percent two years ago.

The proportion who thought Huawei's 5G role should be approved was 10 percent, down from 22 percent in 2019, the Globe reported on Monday.

The Canadian government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly delayed making a decision about whether to let Huawei play a role in constructing the nation's next-generation wireless internet infrastructure amid security concerns.

The U.S., U.K. and Australia have already banned Huawei from such a role.

On Sept. 28, Trudeau said he hoped to announce a decision "on telecommunications and Huawei in the coming weeks".

On Tuesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian responded to the survey findings at a regular briefing in Beijing.

"The Canadian side should adopt an objective and unbiased attitude, independently make decisions that are in line with its interests, and provide a fair, just, open and nondiscriminatory business environment for Chinese companies," he said.

"The sophistication and safety of Huawei's 5G products have been recognized by most operators around the globe," he said.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Oct. 6. Reuters-Yonhap
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Oct. 6. Reuters-Yonhap

The broad Canadian public rejection of a role for Huawei in 5G is part of the overall plummeting of enthusiasm for China since the diplomatic crisis over Meng and the men known as the two Michaels erupted in December 2018.

The Nanos poll found 69 percent of Canadians want to delay trade deal negotiations with China, compared to 47 percent in 2019, while 87 percent support Canada trying to "contain" China's power by joining forces with the U.S., Britain and Australia.

A separate Nanos poll for the Bloomberg news agency found that only 11 percent of Canadians believed the Canada-China relationship could be repaired to its state before Meng's arrest and that of the two Michaels.

Thirty-six per cent believed it had been permanently damaged, while a further 48 percent said they thought it could be repaired a little.

Both surveys involved more than 1,000 people and were conducted from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3. Their margin for error was 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Meng flew back to China from Canada on September 24 after a deferred prosecution agreement was reached.

Kovrig and Spavor, who were arrested in China days after Meng's detention in Canada, were put on trial for espionage this year.

But they too were released, and their flight to Canada took off soon after Meng's departure for China. China said they were released on medical grounds, and Beijing, Ottawa and Washington all denied they were part of an exchange to secure Meng's release.




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