World / US and Canada

China, US talk cyber standards

By Chen Weihua (China Daily USA) Updated: 2016-05-12 16:41

China and the United States held their first senior experts group meeting in Washington on Wednesday to address international standards of state behavior and other crucial issues for international security in cyberspace.

The Senior Experts Group on International Norms and Related Issues, as the meeting is called, is expected to meet twice a year. It is the result of a commitment made by the two countries during President Xi Jinping's state visit to the US last September.

Wang Qun, director general of the department of arms control of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, led the Chinese delegation, which included members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of National Defense, the Cyberspace Administration of China, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Public Security and other institutions.

The US delegation was led by Christopher Painter, coordinator for cyber issues at the Department of State. It included representatives from the Department of State, Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security and other agencies, according to a State Department press release.

Cybersecurity was a contentious issue between the two governments before Xi's state visit, when both governments reached a consensus on several key issues.

Joseph Nye, a professor at Harvard University and assistant secretary of defense for international security aff airs from 1994-1995, praised the progress made on cybersecurity during the Xi-Obama summit last September.

He described it as good for international governance in cyberspace at a seminar in Washington.

"When they do the right thing, we ought to give them credit," he said of the diminished cyberattacks from China against US commercial targets.

Chinese sources, however, said months ago that attacks originating from the US have not abated since last September's summit.

During that September summit, the two governments agreed to provide timely responses to requests for information and assistance concerning malicious cyber activities. Both agreed to cooperate with requests to investigate cybercrimes, collect electronic evidence and mitigate malicious cyber activity emanating from their territory.

Both sides also agreed to provide updates on the status and results of those investigations to the other side.

The two governments agreed that neither country's government would conduct or knowingly support cyberenabled theft of intellectual property, including trade secrets or other confidential business information, with the intent of providing competitive advantages to companies or commercial sectors.

Last December, Chinese State Councilor Guo Shengkun co-chaired the first China- US High-Level Joint Dialogue on Cybercrime and Related Issues in Washington with US Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

The improving relationship between the two countries in cybersecurity has been cited by officials and pundits on both sides as an example of how the two big powers can effectively manage their differences while expanding cooperation.

(China Daily USA 05/12/2016 page1)

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