Washington: US President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping today agreed to work together in a "pragmatic way" to resolve crucial cyber security issues, that have spiralled tensions between the two nations.
While Xi said that cyber security can actually be an area for China and the US to work together with each other in a "pragmatic way", Obama said issues like hacking or theft, are not issues that are unique to the US-China relationship, but those are of international concern.
"The Chinese government is firm in upholding cyber security and we have major concerns about cyber security," Xi told reporters at the Sunnylands Retreat in California where he is holding a two-day summit with Obama.
Obama said both the leaders recognise that because of incredible advances in technology, the issue of cyber security and the need for rules and common approaches to cyber security are going to be increasingly important as part of bilateral relationships and multilateral relationships.
"In some ways, these are uncharted waters and you don`t have the kinds of protocols that have governed military issues, for example, and arms issues, where nations have a lot of experience in trying to negotiate what`s acceptable and what`s not," Obama said.
Xi, calling for resolving of cyber security issues, said, "In the few days before President Obama and I meet today, I note sharp increased media coverage of the issue of cyber security. This might give people the sense or feeling that cyber security as a threat mainly comes from China or that the issue of cyber security is the biggest problem in the China-US relationship.".
"We need to pay close attention to this issue and study ways to effectively resolve this issue. And this matter can actually be an area for China and the US to work together with each other in a pragmatic way," Xi said.
"And I`m happy to learn that within the context of the China-US strategic and economic dialogue, a working group has been established to discuss cyber security issues. So this is an issue that the two sides will continue to discuss," Xi added.
"By conducting good-faith cooperation we can remove misgivings and make information security and cyber security a positive area of cooperation between China and the US," he said.
"Because China and the US both have a need and both share a concern, and China is a victim of cyber-attacks and we hope that earnest measures can be taken to resolve this matter," said the Chinese President.
"And it`s critical, as two of the largest economies and military powers in the world, that China and the US arrive at a firm understanding of how we work together on these issues," Obama said.
When it comes to cyber security issues like hacking or theft, those are not issues that are unique to the US-China relationship, Obama said, adding that those are issues that are of international concern.
"Often times it`s non-state actors who are engaging in these issues as well," he said. "And we`re going to have to work very hard to build a system of defenses and protections, both in the private sector and in the public sector, even as we negotiate with other countries around setting up common rules of the road," the US President said.
"And as China continues in its development process and more of its economy is based on research and innovation and entrepreneurship, they`re going to have similar concerns, which is why I believe we can work together on this rather than at cross-purposes," Obama said.