China, U.S. making moves to implement cybersecurity agreements
Tue 14 Jun 2016
Chinese and U.S. government officials have revealed joint plans to bridge differences in the countries’ cybersecurity strategies, following talks regarding the reported Chinese hacking of U.S. companies.
The U.S. ambassador to China, Max Baucus, said today that the discussions taking place in western Beijing this week had shown a strong commitment on both sides and indicated particularly keen participation from the Obama administration.
U.S. officials are eager to quickly implement recent agreements settled following Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the White House last September. These meetings concluded that neither government would support commercial cybercrime.
While Washington viewed the deal as a diplomatic success, officials are not convinced that the talks resulted in a concrete decline in attacks on U.S. businesses.
‘We’re here today to ensure implementation of agreements made by the two presidents, commitments that illustrate that we can work through areas of differences to reach areas of cooperation,’ said Baucus.
The ambassador added that cooperation on cybersecurity would be ‘an important element’ in the countries’ ‘bilateral relationship’ – ‘Each step that we take enables us to have greater trust. We’re prepared to work hard with you to narrow our differences.’
Chinese Minister of Public Security, Guo Shengkun, said that he was also committed to bringing the discussions ‘from policies on paper to actual implementation.’
‘Both sides will continue to cooperate on cyber cases,’ he said. ‘I believe the leadership on both sides places emphasis on the issue and values participation.’ Shengkun noted that Jinping had personally been involved in the follow-up meetings.
Both U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Loretta Lynch were scheduled to attend the talks, but were forced to withdraw after the Orlando mass shooting.
China denies sponsoring or allowing the corporate hacking, but U.S. findings have revealed that Chinese cyber theft has already cost American firms tens of billions of dollars in lost sales and damages, and that many stolen trade secrets had been handed over to Chinese government-backed companies.