(OTTAWA) Canada is interpreting the concept of national security too broadly, condemning China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in response to Ottawa’s suspension of an equipment contract for the RCMP linked to a company close to Beijing.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on Thursday awarded a $550,000 contract through October 2021 to Sinclair Technologies, a company based in Canada but controlled by Hytera Communications, a Chinese company that has held a nearly 10% stake in Beijing since 2017. An investment fund.
The equipment is intended to secure RCMP terrestrial radio communications. Opposition parties in Ottawa have condemned this potential access by China to sensitive data revealed by Radio-Canada earlier this week, with the Liberals taking sides by acknowledging their concerns.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said that this was a wrong decision.
“Both China and Canada are beneficiaries of economic globalization, and should jointly reject the politicization of economic issues or the overextension of the concept of national security,” she said at a press conference, according to a transcript from Beijing.
Received these complaints in Global TimesA mouthpiece of the Xi Jinping regime, where the government has been criticized for aligning its policies with those of the United States – Washington has banned the sale of Hytera Communications products.
Observers say the unreasonable ban demonstrates Ottawa’s clear ‘politics over trade’ approach to China – a move that blindly follows the United States and poses new risks to economic ties and Sino-Canadian trade relations”, it reads.
A contract “never to be signed”
Canada’s foreign minister, Melanie Joly, reiterated Friday that Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) officials should never have initiated the contract in question.
“Indeed, this is very worrying. In fact, our independent public service should not have signed this agreement. […] National security concerns are expected to be central to all the decisions we make,” she said during question time in the House of Commons.
“Why does Beijing’s intervention matter when it comes to the media? “, previously asked whether the mistake was “willful blindness” or “an effect of China’s influence on the Prime Minister’s office”.
Even defense contracts
The Canadian Department of National Defense has awarded Sinclair several contracts over the past decade, including one last year for the supply of antennas to Canada’s two major naval bases: Halifax and Esquimalt, British Columbia. .
Other contracts were awarded prior to Hytera’s acquisition of Norsat in 2017.
Sinclair’s spokesman, Martin Cardozo, declined to comment on the matter Thursday, except to say that Aurora’s business is a “completely independent entity.”
All talk China
China’s interference in Canada is a hot topic on Ottawa Hill these days.
About a month ago, Global News Network reported that the Chinese government had launched a widespread campaign of foreign interference at home, including through an underground network, including at least 11 federal candidates in the 2019 federal election.
According to Global, a Canadian spy agency discovered that the Chinese consulate in Toronto was piloting a scheme to covertly transfer funds to a network of at least 11 election candidates — Liberals and Conservatives — and Beijing agents. News.
The issue of secret police stations on Canadian soil also continues to create a stir.
With Agence France-Presse and Canadian Press