Top Trump Adviser on 5G Meets in Ottawa Regarding Huawei Decision

March 9, 2020 Updated: March 9, 2020

OTTAWA—A top Trump administration adviser on telecommunications met on Monday with officials in Ottawa as Canada has yet to decide whether to allow Chinese firm Huawei to participate in its new 5G wireless internet network.

Robert Blair, the White House special representative for international telecommunications, met with unspecified people in the Canadian government.

The U.S. Embassy in Ottawa and a spokeswoman for Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland confirmed in the March 9 meeting but did not provide details, including who from Canada took part in the talks.

President Donald Trump has warned American allies, especially those in the Five Eyes intelligence sharing network that includes Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand, not to allow Huawei into their next−generation 5G networks.

The United States deems Huawei national-security threat over risks posed by the Chinese tech giant, including that the regime in Beijing requires its companies to share its information with the Chinese Communist Party’s intelligence sector.

Washington has repeatedly stated that Huawei—founded in 1987 by a former People’s Liberation Army engineer—is an extension of the Chinese regime and that it assists Chinese intelligence in stealing secrets. Huawei denies the assertion.

A former Canadian ambassador to China, Guy Saint−Jacques, says more oversight of Huawei’s operations in Canada could apply if the company agreed to become a publicly traded entity in this country.

Bowen Xiao contributed to this report