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 Beijing over hacking.
Tensions over cyber security will take center stage during a trip by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Washington next week, Xi’s first state visit to the United States.
Obama told executives on Wednesday the United States has 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”.
Beijing and Washington face “common challenges” on Internet security, making it “especially important for the two sides to increase mutual trust and cooperation in cyberspace”, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang said.
“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 reporters at a briefing on Xi’s state visit.
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