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China, U.S. High-Level Cyber Crime Talks to Begin Tuesday

by Reuters /

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Top U.S. and Chinese officials will convene this week in Washington for the first round of cyber security talks following the signing of a bilateral anti-hacking accord in September.

China's Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun is in Washington through Sunday and will meet U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, Chinese state media reported. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch is also expected to take part in the discussions.

Read More: Chinese Cyber Attacks Target Wide Range of U.S. Interests, Clapper Says

The talks on Tuesday and Wednesday are seen as potentially significant in establishing acceptable norms for cyber espionage. It also marks an ongoing effort to repair bilateral relations after China withdrew from a working group last year in response to the U.S. indictment of five members of its military on charges it hacked six U.S. companies.

Cyber security has long been an irritant in relations between China and the United States, despite robust economic ties worth $590 billion in two-way trade last year.

The September agreement, brokered during Chinese President Xi Jinping's official state visit to Washington, included a pledge that neither country would knowingly carry out hacking for commercial advantages.

The pact also underscored a long-standing but unspoken agreement among many countries that hacking in pursuit of traditional espionage purposes is fair game, but infiltrating private sector computer systems for economic gain should be prohibited.

Read More: Chinese Cyberattacks on U.S. Companies Continue, Report Says

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