China, U.S. Cooperating Against “Cyber Cold War”

The internet may be the next frontier, and as such, conflicts are likely to be fought through the information superhighways, as well. Amid accusations that China has been the main source of online hacking attacks against U.S. businesses, the two countries are seeking ways to prevent a so-called “cyber cold war.”

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Chinese defense Minister Liang Guanglie met with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in Washington, and the two executives agreed that mutual cooperation was important in avoiding a crisis in cyberspace.

Liang has denied, though, that China is the main source of cyber-attacks against the U.S. “I can hardly agree with the proposition that the cyber-attacks directed to the United States are directly coming from China,” he said.

But whether online attacks can be directly attributed to China or elsewhere, Panetta noted that given the capabilities of both countries, it was important for the two to “work together to develop ways to avoid any miscalculation or misperception that could lead to a crisis in this area.”

Among other topics discussed were territorial disputes in the South China Sea, U.S. arms sales in Taiwan and the North Korean nuclear program.