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China-US cyber security ministerial dialogue yields positive outcomes

Updated: Dec 2,2015 8:54 AM     Xinhua

State Councilor and Minister of Public Security Guo Shengkun (C) attends the first China-US ministerial dialogue on fighting cyber crimes in Washington DC, the United States, on Dec 1, 2015. The first China-US ministerial dialogue on fighting cyber crimes held here on Dec 2 yielded positive outcomes as the two sides worked hard to remove one of the major stumbling blocks to the development of the bilateral ties.[Photo/Xinhua]

The first China-US ministerial dialogue on fighting cyber crimes held in Washington DC on Dec 2 yielded positive outcomes as the two sides worked hard to remove one of the major stumbling blocks to the development of the bilateral ties.

The dialogue was co-chaired by State Councilor and Minister of Public Security Guo Shengkun with US Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson.

State Councilor and Minister of Public Security Guo Shengkun (C), US Attorney General Loretta Lynch (L) and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson pose for photos during the first China-US ministerial dialogue on fighting cyber crimes in Washington DC, the United States, on Dec 1, 2015. The first China-US ministerial dialogue on fighting cyber crimes held here on Dec 2 yielded positive outcomes as the two sides worked hard to remove one of the major stumbling blocks to the development of the bilateral ties.[Photo/Xinhua]

This meeting, convened under the agreement by President Xi Jinping with his US counterpart Barack Obama during Xi’s first state visit to the US in late September, was also aimed at implementing the five-point consensus reached by the two sides during the US visit in early September by Meng Jianzhu, secretary of the Committee of Political and Legal Affairs (CPLA), CPC Central Committee.

At the dialogue held at the US Justice Department, the two sides reached an agreement on the guidelines on joint China-US fight against cyber crimes and related matters, and the establishment of a hot line.

They identified a number of cases for future cooperation on enhancing cyber security, reached further consensus on fighting cyber terrorism, and agreed on some specific programs of strengthening capability building in fighting cyber crimes.

Among the cases discussed included the one related to the alleged theft of data of the US Office of Personnel Management by Chinese hackers. Through investigation, the case turned out to be a criminal case rather than a state-sponsored cyber attack as the US side has previously suspected.

In his remarks to the meeting, Guo noted that China and the US have shared interests in protecting cyber security, and they can absolutely turn the differences into bright spots for bilateral cooperation.

He urged the two sides to seize the opportunity to implement the consensus and guidelines reached by the two presidents during their September summit and the meeting in Paris this week while attending the UN Climate Change Conference.

Guo said the China-US law enforcement cooperation on cyber security has now entered a new phase of progress as the two sides have solved some specific problems through practical cooperation and candid communication, which helped boost mutual understanding and trust.

Guo pledged China would work with the US to push forward the construction of the cyber law enforcement cooperation mechanism based on “the principles of law-abiding, reciprocity, honest and pragmatism.”

He proposed that the two sides insist on using the dialogue mechanism as the main channel for conducting communication and information sharing in tackling cyber security issues, give prompt and effective response to the requests from the other side, and constructively manage their differences.

Officials from the CPLA and Chinese ministries of justice, public security, state security, foreign affairs, and industry and information technology attended the dialogue.

The US side said that China and the US, the two largest economies in the world, share common interests in protecting cyber security, and the US is willing to take concrete actions to implement the consensus reached by the Xi-Obama summits.

US officials also called for increasing information sharing and joint efforts to fight cyber crimes, including cyber terrorism and theft of commercial secrets. They hoped that the dialogue mechanism will play a positive role in making sure that the joint cooperation on fighting cyber crimes will achieve further positive results.

The two sides agreed to convene the next cyber security ministerial dialogue in Beijing in June next year.

Cyber security has emerged as one of the major disputes that strain the China-US ties in recent years, as the US repeatedly accuses the Chinese government of sponsoring cyber theft of commercial secrets of US companies.

China has rejected the US accusations, citing that its policies forbid any form of cyber crimes. Notwithstanding, China has agreed to cooperate with the US on fighting cyber crimes and formulating the rules of road in protecting the security of the cyber space.

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