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Zhang Junsai, China's ambassador to Canada, poses at his Ottawa residence.Dave Chan/The Globe and Mail

China's ambassador to Canada said that Canadians' concerns over spying are groundless and stem from a "cold war mentality."

"I can assure you that our companies working in other countries, they are strictly doing business according to the local laws," Zhang Junsai said in an interview with CBC radio broadcast Saturday. "There's all this talk about so-called security concerns, but so far, all groundless."

Fears that Chinese telecommunications companies such as Huawei Technologies Ltd. and ZTE Corp. were involved in espionage were raised more than a year ago. 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, but concerns were raised that doing business with Huawei may be risky for other reasons, such as security vulnerabilities. It is not clear whether the vulnerabilities were planted on purpose.

Relying on the lack of evidence from the White House investigation, Mr. Junsai had a very clear message to people who still fear and mistrust the Chinese government: "If you really have the evidence, come with it. If not, then I think that they have to shut up."

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