Canada will face unspecified repercussions if Ottawa bans Chinese telecom giant Huawei from participating in building the country’s next generation of wireless networks, China’s ambassador to Canada said Thursday.
Speaking in Ottawa, Ambassador Lu Shaye did not provide any details.
Canada is facing increasing pressure from the United States and other allies to bar Huawei from supplying equipment for its 5G networks over fears that Chinese equipment could compromise the security of Canadian and North American communications networks.
“I believe there will be repercussions” if Huawei were to be banned, said Lu, who spoke through an interpreter. He urged Ottawa to make a “wise” decision.
Relations between Canada and China reached a new low Monday after Chinese court sentenced a Canadian man convicted of drug smuggling to death following a lightning fast retrial.
Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, 36, had appealed his original 15-year sentence.
Schellenberg death sentence was seen by many in Canada as another attempt by Beijing to apply pressure on Ottawa following the arrest of a top Huawei executive in Canada in December.
China has also detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and a China-based Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor on charges of “endangering national security” following the arrest on Dec. 1 of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, who was detained while changing flights in Vancouver.
She is wanted by the United States for allegedly breaching U.S. sanctions on Iran.
Meng was released on bail by a Canadian court to await the results of extradition proceedings.
But Beijing is demanding that Ottawa “correct its mistake” and put Meng on the first flight to China.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland have insisted that there can be no political interference in Meng’s case and have accused Beijing of arbitrarily using the death penalty and arrests to pressure Canada. They have called on allies to solicit their support.
“What Canada has explained from the outset is that the detention of Ms. Meng is a matter of a rule of law, is a matter of Canada acting according to its international treaty obligations,” Freeland said Thursday. “And Canadians and our partners around the world can be assured that Canada will always respect the rule of law.”
Canada has received support from a growing list of Western allies in its diplomatic standoff, with Spain becoming the latest country to join the fray on Thursday with its message of support for Ottawa.
With files from CBC News