China not cy­ber-thief: Xi

Pres­i­dent rules out cy­ber­at­tack claims by US, say­ing China is a vic­tim of hack­ing it­self

China Daily (Canada) - - XI’S VISIT - By WU JIAO in Seat­tle and LI XIAOKUN in Biejing

China does not steal com­mer­cial se­crets in any form, nor does it en­cour­age or sup­port do­mes­tic com­pa­nies en­gag­ing in such prac­tices, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping said in an in­ter­view re­leased on Tues­day.

His re­marks fol­lowed al­le­ga­tions by Washington of China-backed cy­ber­at­tacks on the US.

The claims came ahead of the ar­rival of Xi and first lady Peng Liyuan in Seat­tle on Tues­day at the start of the pres­i­dent’s four-day state visit to the US.

“China takes cy­ber­se­cu­rity very se­ri­ously. China is also a vic­tim of hack­ing,” Xi told The Wall Street Jour­nal in a writ­ten in­ter­view.

He said cy­bertheft

of com­mer­cial se­crets and hack­ing at­tacks against gov­ern­ment net­works are both illegal; such acts are crim­i­nal of­fenses and should be pun­ished ac­cord­ing to law and in­ter­na­tional con­ven­tions.

“China and the US share com­mon con­cerns on cy­ber­se­cu­rity. We are ready to strengthen co­op­er­a­tion with the US on this is­sue.”

US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama said on Sept 16 dur­ing a meet­ing with busi­ness ex­ec­u­tives that the US is ready to act against China over hack­ing.

In Bei­jing, As­sis­tant For­eign Min­is­ter Zheng Zeguang said ahead of Xi’s de­par­ture that cy­ber­se­cu­rity will be one of the main top­ics in the pres­i­dent’s meet­ing with Obama.

China will firmly pro­tect its own in­ter­ests in cy­berspace and is res­o­lutely op­posed to any state­ments or ac­tions that harm its in­ter­ests, he said.

Teng Jian­qun, di­rec­tor of the Depart­ment of Amer­i­can Stud­ies at the China In­sti­tute of In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies, said Bei­jing and Washington have shared goals on cy­ber­se­cu­rity, while their dis­agree­ments lie in their dif­fer­ent un­der­stand­ing, de­sire and fo­cus on the is­sue.

“In China, with the In­ter­net deeply in­te­grat­ing with al­most ev­ery in­dus­try, it is easy to un­der­stand how much the gov­ern­ment cares about it,” Teng said.

“China has al­ways high­lighted cy­ber­se­cu­rity in a gen­eral con­text, in­clud­ing at strate­gic level, but the US fo­cuses more on the com­mer­cial field.”

Su Ge, pres­i­dent of the in­sti­tute, said that as a coun­try with 700 mil­lion In­ter­net users, “cy­ber­se­cu­rity is of course a top con­cern for China”.

“There have been too many re­ports made to the Chi­nese author­i­ties of hack­ing from abroad. China and the US have huge room for co­op­er­a­tion in the pro­tec­tion of cy­ber­se­cu­rity.”

Dis­cussing China’s re­la­tions with the US, Xi said, “One should see the larger pic­ture and not just fo­cus on dif­fer­ences. Nat­u­rally, we have some dif­fer­ences — even fam­ily mem­bers don’t al­ways see eye to eye.

“As a Chi­nese say­ing goes, ‘When im­por­tant things are ad­dressed first, sec­ondary is­sues will not be dif­fi­cult to set­tle’. ”

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