Conservatives Propose Motions to Ban Huawei From 5G, Sanction Officials Restricting Hong Kong Freedoms

October 16, 2020 Updated: October 16, 2020

The Conservatives are proposing motions to sanction officials responsible for the imposition of Beijing’s national security law on Hong Kong, and to ban Huawei from Canada’s 5G networks.

The proposed motion on Hong Kong, put forth by the Conservative’s shadow minister for foreign affairs Michael Chong, asks for the House of Commons to recognize the national security law as a violation of the 1984 Sino-British joint declaration. The treaty, which imposes a “one country, two system” framework, guarantees a high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong.

Chong’s proposed motion also asks for the House to call on the government “to work with Canada’s allies to immediately impose sanctions, such as Magnitsky sanctions,” on those restricting Hong Kong’s freedoms.

The national security law, which went into effect on June 30, gives the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) sweeping powers to target individuals for what it calls acts of secession, subversion, terrorism, or collusion with foreign forces. The offences carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

The law is widely seen as Beijing’s attempt to suppress prodemocracy activists in Hong Kong. Canada has joined allies United States, Australia, and the U.K. in expressing “deep concern” over the imposition of the law.

Washington has also announced an end to exports of U.S.-origin defence equipment to Hong Kong, and suspended multiple bilateral agreements covering extradition and tax exemptions.

Canada has also suspended its extradition agreement with Hong Kong, and started accepting Hong Kong pro-democracy activists as refugees.

Huawei

A second proposed motion introduced by Conservative MP Shannon Stubbs calls for Huawei to be banned from participating in Canada’s 5G network.

The Canadian government is yet to make a decision on whether to exclude Huawei from its 5G networks. Canada’s allies in the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, including the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, have already banned Huawei from their 5G networks, and the U.K. is planning to phase out the use of the company in its networks in the coming years.

Huawei was founded by a former officer in the People’s Liberation Army. Washington has warned Ottawa to expect cut back in intelligence sharing if Huawei is not banned from its 5G networks, as the United States is worried its data would be compromised.

A recent report by the British Parliament’s defence committee said there’s “clear evidence of collusion between Huawei and the Chinese state.”