The U.S. will attempt to resuscitate discussions with China on the issue of cybersecurity, after talks were suspended following a flurry of high-level accusations exchanged by the governments of both countries.
The U.S. will push for a resumption of the cyber working group when it meets Chinese officials at the annual U.S. China Security and Economic Dialogue in Beijing in the second week of July, Associated Press, or AP reported Friday, citing Daniel Russel, the Assistant Secretary of State. The talks, led by Secretary of State John Kerry, will follow a weeks-long spat between the countries, after the U.S. formally released an indictment in May accusing five Chinese military officials of stealing data from the networks of American companies.
"That's an economic problem as well as a bilateral problem, and that kind of behavior risks undermining the support for the U.S.-China relationship among the U.S. and international business community," Russel said, referring to China's reaction to U.S. claims, according to AP, adding: "It's a problem we believe the Chinese must and can address."
China responded harshly to U.S. accusations of cyberspying and instead reportedly pushed its banks to replace computers manufactured by New York-based International Business Machines Corp., or IBM, (NYSE:IBM) with ones manufactured domestically. Beijing also reportedly blamed New York-based CISCO (NASDAQ:CSCO) for spying on Chinese networks and had said that the company “carries on intimately with the U.S. government and military, exploiting its market advantage in the Chinese information networks, playing a disgraceful role and becoming an important weapon in the U.S. exploiting its power over the Internet.”
Both countries have also exchanged verbal hostilities about China's increasingly assertive claims over portions of the South China Sea. While the U.S. has openly expressed its displeasure over Chinese aggression in the region, Beijing has complained of interference by the U.S., and asked it to refrain from meddling in its national matters.
During the meeting scheduled for July, both countries are also expected to discuss the issue of territorial disputes, Russel said, according to AP.