China Internet chief blames US for cyberattacks

Eighty percent of the China’s government websites have been hit by cyberattacks, mostly coming from the U.S., a senior Chinese Internet regulator said Thursday. 

But that won’t necessarily stall U.S.-China conversations on cybersecurity, said Lu Wei, head of the State Internet Information Office, according to Reuters.

{mosads}Speaking to reporters in Beijing, Lu criticized the use of “superior technology to attack or steal secrets.” 

China’s cybersecurity messaging is being closely scrutinized ahead of next month’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing. During the talks, the Obama administration is expected to press China on its widely presumed hacking of U.S. companies and the government.

Lu assured cybersecurity dialogue between the two sides is “unhindered.” Both countries have “differences but also commonalities,” he said. 

China seemingly shut down that dialogue in recent weeks, with a top official citing “mistaken U.S. practices” during conversations with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. 

China also pulled out of the U.S.-China Cybersecurity Working Group in May after the U.S. indicted five members of the Chinese military for hacking. 

“There has clearly been some bumpiness,” said Ian Wallace, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, who weighed in on international cybersecurity policy in an interview. 

But the Chinese do have incentives to work with the U.S., he said, insisting their investments in the U.S. further intertwine the two economies.

A growing number of Chinese companies, such as Alibaba, are now publicly traded in the U.S.

Apple, Facebook and other companies have been vocal about plans to increase their presence in China. Apple recently launched the iPhone 6 in China, but Facebook still faces a ban. 

Lu on Thursday disputed reports that he wouldn’t allow Facebook to enter the country. 

“I didn’t say Facebook could not enter China, but nor did I say that it could,” he said. 

Tags John Kerry

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