China calls for cooperation with U.S. on cyberattacks

May 30, 2013 at 6:47 AM
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BEIJING, May 30 (UPI) -- China hopes to conduct a dialogue and cooperate with the United States on the issue of cybersecurity, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang said.

Zheng's comment comes ahead of the June 7-8 meeting in California between U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping in which cybersecurity is on the agenda, White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

Chinese alleged hacking of U.S. computer systems came up again after The Washington Post, citing a confidential report by the Defense Science Board, reported Tuesday that Chinese hackers broke into computer systems containing designs of more than two dozen major U.S. weapons systems. The board didn't accuse the Chinese hackers of stealing the designs.

The China Daily quoted Zheng as saying that a range of issues of strategic importance would be discussed by Obama and Xi, and stressed Beijing's stand that "China opposes all types of cyberattacks and is a victim of such attacks."

In Washington Wednesday, Carney noted cybersecurity is "very high priority" for Obama and that the president expects it to be on the agenda at the summit along with issues of North Korea, stability in Asia, expansion of bilateral military ties and climate change.

Carney said U.S.-China relationship is a "broad and complex one" and that Washington has been "clear in our concern about cybersecurity, our concern about the fact that there have been cyber intrusions emanating from China."

He said national security adviser Tom Donilon, who just returned from China, "raised our growing concerns with many senior Chinese officials on this matter and made clear that the United States will do all it must to protect our national networks, our critical infrastructure, and our valuable public and private sector property."

Carney said China should investigate U.S. concerns and start a dialogue on cyber issues. He welcomed China's decision to start a new working group, saying through such dialogues, the United States hopes to "establish norms against the theft of trade secrets and confidential business information."

"It is expected that in the meeting guidelines can be established on how to develop a new type of relationship between major powers," Zheng said in a China Daily report.

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