Canada urged to avoid politicizing economic issues after Ottawa suspends contract with China-linked company
Published: Dec 09, 2022 09:12 PM
China Canada Photo: VCG

File Photo: VCG

Both China and Canada are beneficiaries of globalization, and should jointly oppose the politicization and pan-security of economic issues, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Friday in response to Canada's decision to suspend a communications equipment contract from a China-invested company.

On Thursday, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) called off a signed deal worth over $404,000, citing possible "security concerns" with Sinclair Technologies, a unit of British Columbia-based Norsat International, which was bought by Shenzhen-based Hytera Communications in 2017, according to a Reuters report.

Uses of the equipment included protecting the Royal Canadian Mounted Police land-based radio communications from eavesdropping, the report said.

The US Federal Communications Commission banned Hytera in 2021, saying it was among several Chinese firms that "pose a national security risk," while failing to provide any evidence to back up the claim.

Observers said the unreasonable ban represented Ottawa's obvious "politics over business" mindset toward China - a move that blindly follows the US and will pose further risks to China-Canada economic and trade relations.

Martine Cardozo, sales director for Sinclair Technologies, said the company was "independently registered and operating in Canada and its products were trusted by public safety experts globally," according to an AFP report on Wednesday.

The RCMP had also said it was confident that the system, which was already being installed, would remain secure, the report said.

"Ottawa has recently been increasingly showing its intention of adopting an anti-China stance in lockstep with the US," Ma Jihua, a veteran industry observer, told the Global Times on Friday, saying the move would harm others without benefiting itself.

In November, Canada ordered three Chinese companies to divest their shares from domestic companies involved in extracting critical minerals, citing so-called "national-security concerns."

Hyping the China threat and blindly following the US while ignoring the business community's interests will do no good to its long-term development, Ma said.

According to the latest data, China-Canada economic and trade cooperation is showing an upward trend.

Statistics published by China's General Administration of Customs on Wednesday showed that in the first 11 months of 2022, Chinese imports from Canada in dollar-denominated terms surged 34.2 percent year-on-year, the second-highest growth rate in China's trade with all trading partners and second only to Russia.

As the US runs out of methods to target China, it now hopes to use Canada as a "template" and persuade its European allies to join in its "curb China" strategy, Ma said, while warning that falling into the trap will only drag down their development amid global uncertainties.

Global Times