China offered on Tuesday to talk with the United States about cyber security, reports Reuters, amid an escalating war of words between the two sides on computer hacking, but suspicion is as deep in Beijing as it is in Washington about the accusations and counter-accusations.
The world’s two leading economies have been squaring off for months over the issue of cyber attacks, each accusing the other of hacking into sensitive government and corporate websites.
In an unusually direct appeal, the Obama administration on Monday called on China to halt its persistent theft of trade secrets from corporate computers and engage in a dialogue to establish norms of behavior in cyberspace, reports the Washington Post.
“We have worked hard to build a constructive bilateral relationship that allows us to engage forthrightly on priority issues,” said National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon in his prepared remarks (Lawfare blog). “The United States and China, the world’s two largest economies, both dependent on the Internet, must lead the way in addressing this problem.”
China, in response, said it was happy to talk.
“China is willing, on the basis of the principles of mutual respect and mutual trust, to have constructive dialogue and cooperation on this issue with the international community including the United States to maintain the security, openness and peace of the Internet”, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chuying said at a daily news briefing.
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