Conservative leadership candidate Jean Charest says he is "very proud" of his work with the Chinese telecom giant Huawei.
The remarks came at the kick-off of his Conservative party Leadership campaign at a brewery in Calgary.
Charest left Federal Conservative politics in the early 2000s to spend nine years as the Liberal premier of Quebec before retiring to the private sector. Charest worked as a consultant, including for Huawei on the Meng Wanzhou case and for its 5G network plans in Canada, and joined McCarthy Tétrault LLP as a partner. Meng Wanzhou, an exec for Huawei, was arrested at the Vancouver airport on an American warrant for fraud. China arrested and detained two Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, for nearly 3 years in retaliation.
In response to a question from the Western Standard, Charest attempted to explain away his role with the Chinese telecom giant. The world's largest maker of telecom equipment has been credibly linked with enabling digital espionage in Western countries and using facial recognition technology to assist Bejing's Uyghur genocide in Xinjiang.
Documents leaked to the Washington Post and signed by Huawei reps show that in 2018, Huawei tested AI software that could recognize Uyghurs and alert police. It was referred to as a "Uyghur alarm" in internal Huawei docs. The project was a part of a series of ethnic identity recognition programs being developed by Huawei with the CCP.
Up to a million Uyghurs languish in forced labour and re-education camps, a human rights atrocity the Conservative Party of Canada pushed the Canadian government to label a genocide.
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