President Barack Obama has said the US and China need to work together on a 'cyber code of conduct' to try and quell the countries' mutual fears about cyber security, following two days of talks with representatives of the Beijing regime.
The two countries are involved in an ongoing war or words over hacking attacks. The US regularly accuses China of hacking it, and has issued charges against Chinese officials. China accuses the US of false flagging and hypocrisy.
After the talks, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that progress has been made, claiming the discussions had been fruitful, with plans to for a code of cyber conduct one topic covered, as well as the recent hack on US worker info.
"There was an honest discussion about – without accusations, without any finger-pointing – about the problem of cyber theft and whether or not it [the hack] was sanctioned by government or whether it was hackers and individuals that the government has the ability to prosecute," he said.
He also alluded to the fact Obama had told the Chinese that more needs to be done to create a more open and trusting relationship between the countries in issues relating to cyber defence.
"China also has a very clear interest in making certain that everybody is behaving by a certain set of standards. And president Obama made that very clear in the meeting that we had at the White House this afternoon," he said.
"So what we want to do is bridge the differences now, and that’s what we set out to do in the conversations that we had today."
The US has made a number of efforts to combat cyber attacks on its companies, government agencies and citizens, and even considered the use of sanctions following the supposed North Korean attack on Sony Entertainment.
This month, Washington admitted to a huge data breach affecting current and former government workers after a successful strike against the US Office of Personnel Management.
During the press conference Kerry also denied recent reports that the US had been spying on the communications of the French president Francois Hollande.
"I know that President Obama talked to President Hollande and made it clear we are not targeting President Hollande; we will not target friends like President Hollande; and we don’t conduct any foreign intelligence surveillance activities unless there is some very specific and validated national security purpose, which I don’t know of in this instance."
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