BEIJING (REUTERS) - Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Saturday called for joint efforts with the United States to safeguard cyberspace, an area of tension that the US says is its top national security concern.
Repeating the government’s oft-stated position, China opposes any form of hacking, Wang was quoted by Xinhua news agency as telling visiting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
Beijing and Washington have been trading accusations in recent months of massive cyber intrusions. The US says hacking attacks emanating from China have targeted US government and corporate computer networks among others, stealing government and commercial data.
A US computer security firm released a report in February saying a secretive Chinese military unit is believed to be behind a wave of hacking attacks against the United States.
China claims that it is the victim of large-scale cyber attacks from the United States, though it has given few details.
In recent weeks, both sides have included calls for dialogue and cooperation. Officials and business executives attending a China-US Internet Industry Forum in Beijing this week sought to find common ground.
“It’s important to have a dialogue on this, but it’s also important that the dialogue be a means to an end, and the end is really ending these practices,” Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs Robert Hormats, who spoke at the forum, told Reuters in an interview.
Cyberspace should be an area where China and the United States can increase mutual trust and cooperation, Mr Wang told Mr Kerry, according to Xinhua.
Mr Kerry arrived in Beijing on Saturday with nuclear threats from North Korea at the top of his agenda in talks with Chinesev officials.