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Construction of Huawei 5G network dependent on data safety: PM

Last Updated Feb 11, 2019 at 2:48 pm PST

The logo of Huawei stands on its office building at the research and development centre in Dongguan in south China's Guangdong province, on December 18, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Andy Wong)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau admits he’s worried about possible security threats as a Chinese telecom giant plans to expand some of Canada’s 5G mobile networks.

Trudeau will be meeting with Telus executives in Vancouver as the company works with Huawei to expand its infrastructure into rural areas.

He says he wants Telus executives to address what, if any, threat the Chinese telecom giant poses.

“I know that the security and the safety of our networks is obviously an issue that will come up,” he adds. “I expect to discuss it, but as you know, we are going to be taking advice from our security professionals and intelligence agencies on how to make sure that Canada and our data protections are kept safe.”

RELATED: Many Canadians think Trudeau should take a tougher approach to diplomatic dispute with China: poll

Other countries, including Australia, have already barred Huawei from doing business there and the U.S. has repeatedly accused China of using technology to steal trade secrets. However, Beijing’s response has been to suggest the U.S. is trying to kill competition from Huawei.

When asked if he thinks the possible extradition of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou to the United States on fraud charges will be a factor, he says his government will put the safety of Canadians at the forefront of everything they do.

“Canada has an independent judicial system and we will ensure that we apply that independence rigorously,” he adds. “We are a country of the rule of law and we will always defend the rule of law. We will live up to our international obligations.”

The chief financial officer remains on bail in Vancouver, while two Canadians remain jailed in China as suspected retaliation.