Following UK on Huawei an ‘easy out’ for Canada, says ex-China envoy

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OTTAWA — A former Canadian envoy to China says Britain’s decision today to grant Huawei partial access to its next-generation 5G network gives the Trudeau government an “easy out” to make the same choice.

And David Mulroney says that would be a bad decision, amounting to Ottawa caving to more than a year of Beijing bullying.

Mulroney says Britain’s decision to attempt to limit “high-risk” vendors’ access to the new upgraded network represents the latest false compromise by a western government in its dealings with China.

The Liberal government has been agonizing over which companies it will allow to provide 5G equipment, amid warnings from the Chinese government that there will be “consequences” if Huawei is excluded.

The political pressure stems from China’s ongoing imprisonment of two Canadians, who were detained on spying charges more than a year ago after Canada arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. extradition warrant.

Like Britain, Canada has been under pressure by the United States to ban the Chinese company as a threat to U.S. national security — a charge the company denies.