China opposes Internet attacks and wants to work with the United States in cyberspace but will defend its interests, a senior Chinese official said on Thursday, after U.S. President Barack Obama warned of a forceful response to hacking.
Tension over cyber security will take center stage during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first state visit to the United States next week.
Obama told executives on Wednesday the United States had emphasized to China that industrial espionage in cyberspace would be considered an “act of aggression”, and called for an international framework to prevent the Internet from being “weaponized”.
Speaking to U.S. business leaders on Thursday, Xi said China and the United States could maintain common interests if both approached matters constructively and avoided strategic miscalculations, the Xinhua news agency reported.
Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang said earlier the two countries faced “common challenges” on Internet security, making it especially important for them “to increase mutual trust and cooperation in cyberspace”.
“At the same time, the Chinese government firmly safeguards its own interests in cyberspace and is resolutely opposed to any statements or actions that harm China’s interests,” Zheng told a briefing on Xi’s visit.