In US-China talks on cyber conflict, a top Chinese general owns to dangers
At a press briefing in Beijing with Martin Dempsey, chairman of US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Fang Fenghui offered some agreement on the damage of cyberattacks, a 'friction point' in US-China relations.
Whenever US officials visit China these days, they come with a high-priority mission: to emphasize how much damage China-based cyberattacks are doing to the relationship between the two nations.Skip to next paragraph
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So, is China finally coming around to America’s point of view?
Visiting China for the first time as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey arrived at the Chinese Defense Ministry Monday for a closed-door meeting with his People's Liberation Army (PLA) counterpart. Their talk lasted an hour longer than expected, an encouraging sign potentially signaling a substantive dialogue, senior US military officials said.
Cyberattacks figured prominently on the agenda. In an interview Sunday, Dempsey called it a “friction point” between the countries.
In discussing Dempsey’s visit to China, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, for his part, called cyberattacks “the greatest threat to our security – economic security, political security, diplomatic security, military security – that confronts us.”
On Monday, a top Chinese military officer, Gen. Fang Fenghui, offered some agreement on that point, saying of cyber insecurity that “the damaging consequences it causes may be as serious as a nuclear bomb.”
Fang also offered some support for the idea of a working group to discuss cybersecurity, suggested by Secretary of State John Kerry during his visit to China earlier this month.
“I believe that it is important to set up the idea that we should jointly work on this issue and set up a mechanism to enhance coordination and cooperation on cybersecurity,” Fang said during a press conference after the meetings.