Canada to lift border ban on Huawei because it cannot provide security assurances to US against spying
One of the world’s most closed-off nations to start easing Covid-19 travel restrictions
Canada has announced it will ease some of the restrictions in its controversial visa policy against Huawei Technologies.
The Canadian government said on Monday it would permit visa interviews for visitors from Pakistan, but currently barred from its commercial, diplomatic and tourist visa categories. It said it would also remove a ban on Huawei.
It comes after Canada banned Huawei from its planned 5G telecom technology program earlier this month. US officials are concerned that Huawei’s network equipment could facilitate Chinese spying. Huawei denied the accusation.
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Huawei is the world’s largest producer of telecommunications equipment. The ban has prevented a slew of Chinese citizens from visiting Canada and undermining the government’s argument that it does not trust the Chinese telecommunications giant. Huawei has denied the accusations.
The Canadian government said its ban on Huawei “does not apply to any business or subsidiary of Huawei”.
Huawei has grown in recent years to become the world’s biggest producer of telecom network equipment. The company has also been preparing to launch a global smartphone business that would rival those of Samsung, Apple and Huawei.
Iran, Syria, Sudan, North Korea and Cuba were previously allowed in. Canada made no mention of any changes to the visa policies for those four countries. The visa program launched in 2004.
China has long warned that US relations with Canada would deteriorate if the country further restricted the granting of visas to its citizens. The leaders of both countries have spoken out in defense of visa laws.
Trump also threatened to block Canadian products from the United States if Canada didn’t keep its diplomatic posts open. The threat followed US secretary of state Mike Pompeo saying that Canada may be permitted to keep some of its diplomatic missions open in the United States despite a drop in US support.
“On Huawei, China has paid a great deal of attention to our immigration policy. They’ve been studying this,” Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said. “They’ve been wanting to know everything they could learn about what’s happening in Canada in light of the concerns that they have about Huawei. So we are open to learning a lot from them.”