By Yuan Yue, Sina English
"If you really have the evidence, come with it. If not... shut up," Zhang Junsai, Chinese Ambassador to Canada had firm words for those accusing Chinese companies of "espionage", when interviewed by CBC on Nov.17 local time.
The Chinese ambassador's comments came on the heels of a report released by a U.S. intelligence committee last month, warning of the security risks associated with doing business with two of China's leading telecommunications firms, Huawei and ZTE, according to CBC.
"We're here not to grab your resources. We're here to participate," Zhang said in response to the concerns about a Chinese state-owned company's bid for Nexen, a Canada-based oil and gas company .
CBC reports when asked about the U.S. intelligence committee report, Zhang said squarely: "I can assure you that our companies working in other countries are doing business strictly in accordance with the local laws, are are not involved in the so-called espionage." He said the "so-called security concerns" are "so far, groundless."
"If you really have the evidence, come with it. If not... shut up," Zhang says, "even the United States cannot produce any iron-clad evidence."
The ambassador blamed the allegations of espionage against Chinese firms on "a Cold War mentality." He said building "mutual trust" between the two countries is a priority, adding that their economic and trading relations are "very important."
A report by UPI says the Chinese ambassador praised Canada as "one of the best destination" for Chinese companies to invest due to its "transparent policies."
And according to the Globe and Mail, a Canada-based newspaper, an 18-month review ordered by the White House concluded last month that there was no evidence that Huawei employees were involved in a spy ring.
In an interview with CBC News, however, the chairman of the intelligence committee, House Representative Mike Rogers, warned that Canada's national security was equally at risk, and called for Canada to follow America's step to block Chinese companies.
The Chinese ambassador not only aimed to rebut the "espionage" allegations, but also to reassure the Canadians of the motive behind CNOOC's bid for Nexen, comments CBC on Nov.18. The article continues by saying although statistics show quite a few Canadians are against the notion of CNOOC's bid, the government has been striving to develop the trade relationship between the two sides, as it recently signed a 31-year Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (FIPA) with China.
Despite that Canadian intelligence bodies toss out "espionage" allegations against China from one time to another, in general, Canada has maintained a steady trade relationship with China, and the majority of Canadians also disapprove the notion.
The concerns of Chinese companies' investments in Canada mainly concentrate in the field of natural resources, the article notes, this is because Canada has a rich repertoire of them and has always been watching out for acquisitions by foreign countries/companies, for fear they would exhaust the natural resources in the country.