Reporter Journal / Chen Weihua

Cyber sanctions report downplayed

By Chen Weihua in Washington (China Daily USA) Updated: 2015-09-01 09:50

"Unfortunately, the underlying assumption of US officials seems to be that the Chinese government itself is responsible for the attacks, even though the evidence for such an allegation is weak," he said.

Carpenter said this is a topic that badly needs better communications between the two governments.

Douglas Paal, vice-president for studies and director of the Asia program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said policymakers in China and the US have been too passive in addressing the cyber issue, so they have come to a point where retaliation is the issue.

"This will not play well in US or Chinese domestic politics, making management of the overall relationship more difficult, and policymakers should have foreseen this and taken control much earlier," he said.

"Now they are increasingly hostages to circumstance, not shapers of the environment."

Writing in the US magazine The National Interest on Aug 26, Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai said China is a major victim of cyberattacks, and a large portion of such activities originate from foreign countries.

"Cyberattacks are usually conducted anonymously and across borders, making them hard to trace back to the source. Unfounded accusations or megaphone diplomacy will be nothing but counterproductive. If we work together rather than separately on these issues, there is certainly a lot more to achieve," he wrote.

Cybersecurity is likely to be one of the key issues when Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with US President Barack Obama in Washington in late September during Xi's state visit.

A White House press release dated Aug 29 said US National Security Advisor Susan Rice emphasized during her trip to Beijing from Aug 28-29 the need to confront differences constructively, including on issues such as cyber, Chinese currency, maritime and human rights.

Rice, who was in China to prepare for Xi's visit, reaffirmed the US commitment to develop and deepen practical cooperation in areas of overlapping interest and to address disagreements forthrightly and effectively, according to the press release.

The State Department also announced on Monday that Daniel Russel, the US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, will be in Beijing from Sept 6-8 to meet senior Chinese officials to discuss a range of issues crucial in the bilateral relationship.


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