China Lays the Cybersecurity Ball Squarely in US’ Court

With important diplomatic talks set to begin in Washington between the United States and China, the Chinese Foreign Ministry pointed that it’s up to the United States to pick up on cybersecurity talks on a regular basis, according to a report in Reuters.

Despite robust economic ties that amount to $590 billion in a trade deal last year, cybersecurity has always been an irritant in bi-lateral diplomatic ties between the two nations.

Tensions were high when China dismantled a bilateral group working to aid cybersecurity last year. This was a direct consequence of the United States charging five military officers in the Chinese army with hacking multiple American firms.

A real-time viewing that tracks cyber threats from around the world shows that most of the attacks originate from China, with the primary target being the United States.

The Chinese Ministry’s view

Lu Kang, the spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry told a news briefing in Beijing that: “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 Kang noted that internet and cybersecurity was a common problem for the international community and one that the world needed to tackle together.

“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.

The all-important talks

The annual talks in Washington will involve eight U.S. cabinet secretaries and over 400 Chinese officials under the Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) framework.

It’s a precarious time with relations between the U.S. and China. There are genuine concerns in the U.S. about Beijing’s rising prominence in global finance to challenge American dominance. Another point of focus is certain to highlight the waning influence and presence of U.S. businesses in China.