05:00 GMT02 December 2020
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    China is ready to work with the United States to resolve cybersecurity disputes, China’s Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs said Thursday.

    BEIJING (Sputnik) – Zheng Zeguang spoke with reporters ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s September 22-25 visit to the United States, when US President Barack Obama is expected to raise the issue of China’s online activities.

    "China is ready to continue working with the United States in the spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, and seek ways to counter cybercrimes, cyber terrorism, and prevent cyberattacks by third parties," Zheng said.

    The remarks followed Obama’s classification of industrial espionage an "act of aggression" on Wednesday. He urged the international community to regulate online security through international agreements, warning that Russia and China are fast approaching the US online sophistication and expertise.

    The Chinese diplomat stressed that "the use of Chinese territory to carry out cyberattacks and the theft of trade secrets is illegal and should be punished."

    "At the same time, the Chinese government also intends to defend its interests in cyberspace, and we oppose any actions that are detrimental to our interests in cyberspace," Zheng underscored.

    Addressing a group of chief executives at Wednesday’s Business Roundtable, Obama said his administration was preparing measures that would apply "significant strains on the bilateral relationship" if the dispute remains unresolved.

    Washington has blamed Beijing for launching a massive cyberattack against the US Office of Personnel Management. The attack, made public in June, compromised the personal data of more than 21 million current and former US government employees.

    The US Army announced earlier in September it would expand its Internet security resources in response to new online threats.


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