While each nation resolved to push back against China in their own manner, those at the gathering felt they had been provoked to act by Beijing’s military expansion in the South China Sea, the increased tempo of its espionage and cyber-hacking campaigns and its efforts to pervert democratic institutions through foreign interference operations.
In a sign there is now a consensus in Washington on the strategic threat posed by China, America’s next move is expected to be the declassification of intelligence on Beijing’s cyber hacking through multiple indictments issued by the Justice Department.
Ms Meng, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, was granted bail on Wednesday, ahead of a court hearing early next year to determine if she will be extradited to face charges in the US.
In what is being viewed as retaliation for the arrest of Ms Meng, a former Canadian diplomat and another of his compatriots have been detained in China, according to the Canadian government.
Canada is the only participant at the mid-July meeting yet to formally ban Huawei from its 5G network, although a decision is expected shortly.
David Vigneault, head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, used his first-ever public speech on December 6 to warn that state-sponsored hacking threatened “the foundation of Canada’s future growth”.
China’s Ministry of State Security is viewed as the world’s most aggressive state-sponsored hacker and has been linked to the recent data breach at the Marriott Hotel chain, which collected the personal details of 500 million guests.
The Australian decision on August 23 to ban so called “high-risk” vendors from building the new 5G networks was overshadowed by Malcolm Turnbull’s bid to remain prime minister.
In one of his last acts in the job, Mr Turnbull rang Donald Trump on the Sunday before he was deposed to inform the US president of Australia’s decision to exclude Huawei and China’s second-largest telecommunications equipment maker ZTE from the 5G rollout.
The Australian decision followed months of pressure from the US to not allow Huawei or ZTE to participate in any form in the new networks, which are set to be rolled out from early next year.
Huawei has long maintained it poses no security threat and in an effort to placate government concerns sought to only provide equipment to the outer parts of the 5G network, rather than its core.
Although careful not to name Huawei publicly, the government rejected this compromise and Mike Burgess, director general of the Australian Signals Directorate, said in his experience such a separation was not possible.
In a speech on October 29 Mr Burgess said the electricity grid, water supplies and other critical infrastructure could not have been adequately protected if “high-risk vendors” were allowed to build the country’s 5G networks.
“This is about more than just protecting the confidentiality of our information – it is also about integrity and availability of the data and systems on which we depend,” he said.
Since then there has been an increased focus on Huawei’s role in Australia, which included winning a contract in July to provide a new communications system for Perth’s metropolitan rail network and its long-standing involvement with the NSW Ambulance service.