Double plus good on the South China Morning Post for digging up this story–one hopes our media will notice:
Canada cites espionage risk from two Huawei employees, saying it plans to reject their immigration applications
Two employees face visa rejection in world-first targeting of telecom giant’s staff, but they categorically deny being spies, immigration consultant says
Canada is citing the risk of espionage as it prepares to reject the immigration applications of two Chinese employees of mainland telecom giant Huawei, in the first such cases to emerge amid a swirl of unsubstantiated international spying concerns about the firm.
In a letter obtained by the South China Morning Post, an immigration officer at Canada’s Hong Kong consulate told one applicant in March: “there are reasonable grounds to believe that you are a member of the inadmissible class of persons described in section 34(1)(f) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.”
That refers to people who belong to an organisation engaged in espionage, government subversion or terrorism.
A second applicant was told last month that the same concern existed about their spouse, who was included in their immigration application.
“After careful and thorough consideration … I am preparing to refuse your application,” said both letters, which were provided to the SCMP by the applicants’ immigration consultants, Beijing-based Well Trend United [more here].
Well Trend’s vice-president, Victor Lum, said the two Huawei staff “definitely and categorically” deny being spies.
Their unrelated applications were lodged separately more than two years ago, Lum said, but the so-called “procedural fairness” letters arrived within days of each other, on March 18 and March 21.
Huawei , the world’s third-biggest smartphone maker and a major provider of global telecoms infrastructure [Huawei Canada website here], has long been cited by the United States as a Chinese espionage risk, but Well Trend’s clients are believed to be the first individuals singled out by any foreign government in such a way.
Huawei has repeatedly denied involvement in espionage…
Well they would, wouldn’t they? Good on the Canadian government for looking like taking a firm line. More earlier on Huawei–and Canada– here. Related: