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U.S. officials worried about China's behavior in cyberspace

Staff writer |
Top U.S. officials spoke about about China's behavior in cyberspace, warning it could threaten one of the most important geopolitical relationships in the world.

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High-level officials from the two major economies met for annual Cabinet-level talks on strategic and economic issues.

With talks amid tensions over cyberspace and maritime security, officials on both sides played down expectations for substantial progress in the seventh round of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said Washington remains "deeply concerned about government-sponsored cyber theft from companies and commercial sectors."

Beijing's leadership, Mr. Lew said, has a responsibility "to abide by certain standards of behavior within cyberspace."

U.S. investigators believe a recently disclosed breach of millions of personnel records originated in China, but the Obama administration hasn't said whether it was considered a government-sanctioned hack.

Both Chinese and U.S. officials said they hoped to find some common ground even in the areas where their disagreements are sharpest.

"There's an urgent need to agree on a rule-based system for rapidly evolving areas ranging from cyberspace to outer space," said Vice President Joe Biden, who spoke at the opening of talks.

China's State Councilor Yang Jiechi backed the principle of China working with the U.S. and other countries to develop an "international code of conduct for cyber information sharing."

"We will work with the U.S. and other countries to work in a spirit of openness to properly address the relevant issues," Mr. Yang said.

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