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Combating cyber espionage needs joint efforts by China and U.S.


19:05, March 14, 2013

BEIJING, March 14 (Xinhua) -- The United States has recently stepped up the rhetoric against China on cyber espionage, with President Barack Obama joined the chorus on Wednesday.

He complained billions of dollars could be lost due to theft of American corporate secrets, following warnings by Pentagon officials that cyber espionage could be a dire threat to America's national security.

Washington's allegations show it is rather impatient with rampant backdoor thefts in the digital world, but casting China as a specific culprit for the ubiquitous problem is unfair.

Computer hacking is an emerging threat to global security. Both China and the United States are victims of electronic assaults.

In 2012, more than 14 million computers in China were hijacked and controlled from foreign IP addresses, with more than 10 million of those being controlled from IP addresses in the U.S., according to CNCERT, China's top Internet coordination center.

In fairness, that does not mean the hackers were American, or that Washington was supporting or condoning the digital attacks against China. With computer technologies evolving so fast, hackers can easily hide or change their IPs. That makes hackers anonymous and difficult to trace.

Using the same logic, any hasty accusation aimed at a specific country for cyber attacks is technologically flawed and politically inappropriate.

Blaming the attacks on Chinese hackers is a rash statement that lacks credible evidence, while picking on Beijing as backing such acts sounds like an insidious attempt to tarnish China's image.

The Chinese government has launched dozens of campaigns against backdoor spying and malicious software, cutting off remote control by tens of millions of IP addresses.

To eradicate cyber crime on the borderless Internet is barely possible without transnational cooperation. In this new field, the United States and China share common interests.

China-U.S. relations are the most important bilateral relations on earth. Instead of trading barbs and taking aggressive steps against each other, the world's biggest and second largest economies would do well to combine their efforts to build a safer virtual world.

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