China and the US, which are embroiled in a bitter dispute over hacking, have agreed to set up a cybersecurity working group, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday.
“All of us, every nation, has an interest in protecting its people, protecting its rights, protecting its infrastructure,” he told reporters on a visit to Beijing.
“Cybersecurity affects everybody,” he said. “It affects airplanes in the sky, trains on their tracks, it affects the flow of water through dams, it affects transportation networks, power plants, it affects the financial sector, banks, financial transactions.
“So we are going to work immediately on an accelerated basis on cyber.”
The world’s two largest economies have traded accusations this year over cyber-attacks after a US research company said in February that a Chinese army unit had stolen huge amounts of data, from mostly US companies.
China dismissed the report as “groundless”, saying its defence ministry websites were often subjected to hacking attacks originating in the US.
The American Chamber of Commerce in China also said late last month that over a quarter of its members have experienced data theft.
Beijing’s foreign ministry dismissed the report and called on the US to stop “hyping cybersecurity issues”.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]