China-US cyber cooperation encouraged

Updated: 2015-04-02 11:06

By Hua Shengdun in Washington(China Daily USA)

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To combat global cyberthreats, China and the US should put aside differences and work together, said a White House official at a Washington-based think tank.

"China and the United States are involved in both areas of cooperation and some areas where both sides have differences of opinion, including cybersecurity," Michael Daniel, special assistant to the president and cybersecurity coordinator with the National Security Council, told China Daily at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on Wednesday.

President Obama signed an executive order on Wednesday morning to authorize the secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the attorney general and the secretary of state to sanction suspected hackers operating abroad.

Daniel said the White House would continue to focus on three core areas: raising the level of cyber security for the US short term and long term; adapting to the frequent emergence of cyber threats; and building the federal government's capability to manage and respond to the incidents effectively.

Asked about the reaction to China's official previous appeal for international cooperation in cyber issues, Daniel, former chief of the Intelligence Branch of the National Security Division, said "despite that (differences), this is the area we have to figure out the way to work better together".

"We are two of the largest economies in the world, and both of us are highly Internet- and cyberspace-dependent," he said. "In the long term, it will be in both of our interests to figure out how to combat the cyber threats that we face more effectively".

Hua Chunying, China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said on Monday that China "hopes to work with the international community to speed up the making of international rules and jointly keep the cyberspace peaceful, secure, open and cooperative".

"It is hoped that all parties can work in concert to address hacker attacks in a positive and constructive manner," she said.

Last week, US-based code-collaboration platform GitHub was hacked, with the perpetrators "specifically targeting GreatFire projects hosted on the site and making the whole platform intermittently available for some users", according to The Washington Post.

Hua dismissed speculation that Chinese companies were involved, saying that "it is quite odd that every time a website in the US or any other country is under attack, there will be speculation that Chinese hackers are behind it. I'd like to remind you that China is one of the major victims of cyber attacks".

Denise Zheng, deputy director and senior fellow for the strategic technologies program at CSIS, told China Daily that there should be more discussions in "software insurance, product insurance and supply chain security" between China and the US about "how to collaborate on prosecuting cyber security criminals".

Sheng Yang in Washington contributed to this story.

(China Daily USA 04/02/2015 page1)