Progress? US and China agree to talk about cyber rules

I guess public shaming does have a role…

From the NYTimes…

The United States and China have agreed to hold regular, high-level talks on how to set standards of behavior for cybersecurity and commercial espionage, the first diplomatic effort to defuse the tensions over what the United States says is a daily barrage of computer break-ins and theft of corporate and government secrets.

Talks begin in July, after Obama and Xi’s face-to-face. Why wait? I ask

Elsewhere, others are already questioning if the US should pursue a strategy developed during the Cold War, a time of set borders and gun-point diplomacy. 

Naming and shaming China over cyberspying

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks at the opening plenary session of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, June 1, 2013. Hagel will meet with defense ministers at the event and then travel to Brussels to meet with NATO defense ministers.

That seems to be the US’s strategy, with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel calling China out at the International Institute for Strategic Studies Asia Security Summit in Singapore on June 1. It’s pretty ballsy but apparently after the Mandiant report was published and publicized, some of the relentless cyberbreaches slowed for a while, so the US is just testing out a new public-shaming strategy.

China, predictably, has countered by questioned the US claim about its Asia pivot is not about containing China’s rise.

In any case, the world will watch to see what kind of language on hacking Obama uses in public with Xi when they meet next week. 

I suppose this US shaming behavior would be unthinkable if China were a Western power. Different times call for different types of diplomacy. 

(Photo: courtesy US Defense Dept)