Beijing seeks cooperation with US on cyberattacks

Updated: 2013-05-30 03:21

By Zhu Zhe and Zhao Yanrong (China Daily)

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China reiterated on Wednesday that it is against all Internet hacking attacks and hopes to conduct dialogues and cooperate with the United States on this matter under the principle of mutual respect and trust.

The remarks, made by Assistant Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang at a news briefing, came ahead of the summit between President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Barack Obama on June 7 and 8 — the first face-to-face communication between the two leaders since Xi became president in March.

China has repeatedly been accused of being behind hacking activities. The latest accusation came from The Washington Post on Tuesday, which cited a US Defense Science Board report as saying that Chinese hackers have gained access to designs of two dozen US weapon systems.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that Obama will discuss cybersecurity with Xi during their meeting in California next week.

Asked whether cybersecurity will be a topic at the summit, Zheng said the two leaders will discuss a whole range of issues that are of strategic importance to both countries.

But he reiterated, "China opposes all types of cyberattacks and is a victim of such attacks."

He said China and the US have agreed to set up a working team on cyberissues under the framework of the China-US Strategic Security Dialogue, and China is willing to conduct further talks and cooperation under the principle of mutual respect and trust. Xi's meeting with Obama, planned at Sunnylands, the Walter and Leonore Annenberg estate in Rancho Mirage, California, will be conducted on his way back from a trip to Latin America and the Caribbean. Xi is scheduled to pay state visits to Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Mexico from Friday to June 6.

Zheng said China and the US both expect the two leaders to meet as soon as possible to communicate and plan for future development of Sino-US relations.

"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.

He said new relations between big countries, such as China and the US, should be established on the basis of equality, inclusiveness, mutual trust and mutual learning, as well as win-win cooperation.

Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University of China, said China has been eyeing a new type of relationship between major countries. However, he said, it seems the concept has not been well accepted by Washington, so it could be a key issue for discussion at the upcoming summit.

"At the meeting, it's expected that the two leaders can reach a consensus on the concept and try to carry out the idea in practice in the future."

Shi said that despite the differences between the two countries, the new type of relationship between China and the US should clearly define the key interests of each and be built on the basis of mutual respect.