Wed, Jun 24, 2015 - Page 1 News List

China says up to US to resume cybersecurity talks

Reuters and AFP, BEIJING and WASHINGTON

It is up to the US to create conditions to resume regular talks on cybersecurity, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, as the two countries began three days of high-level meetings in Washington.

Cybersecurity has long been an irritant in relations between China and the US, despite robust economic ties, worth US$590 billion in two-way trade last year.

An attack on the US Office of Personnel Management, revealed this month, compromised the data of 4 million current and former federal employees, raising US suspicions that Chinese hackers were building huge databases that could be used to recruit spies.

Last year, China shut down a bilateral working group on cybersecurity after the US charged five Chinese military officers with hacking US firms.

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Lu Kang (陸慷) said Internet security was something that the international community needed to tackle together, as it was a common problem.

“China and the United States had previously always had a good dialogue mechanism on issues of Internet security. Because of reasons that everyone knows about, and not because of China, this dialogue has stopped,” Lu told a daily news briefing in Beijing.

“Speaking by seeking truth from the facts, resuming these talks probably needs the United States to properly handle the relevant issue to create conditions for dialogue,” he added.

More than 400 Chinese officials are in Washington for the annual talks under the wide-ranging Strategic and Economic Dialogue framework, which involve eight US Cabinet secretaries.

The talks are being hosted by US Vice President Joe Biden, US Secretary of State John Kerry and US Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew.

The talks were to formally start yesterday with Kerry and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi (楊潔篪). However, Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken led initial closed-door talks on Monday on the toughest dossier — security — with Chinese Executive Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Zhang Yesui (張業遂).

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