The 2015 cyber agreement should be seen as a potentially important first step, but not as a final step toward solving the broader problem of Chinese espionage. In essence, reducing cyberespionage against U.S. companies addresses only a question of means, not objectives. While China completely eliminates cyberespionage against U.S. companies, it will continue to target traditional U.S. national security actors through a variety of means, including cyberespionage. The cybersecurity agreement between the United States and China looks promising, but only if there is talk and efforts to effectively reduce economic espionage. Above all, an updated U.S. cybersecurity plan must be developed to move forward and work toward a better relationship with China to reduce cyberespionage. With respect to future agreements, the U.S.-China agreement, if effective, could serve as a model for future bilateral cybersecurity agreements, as is the case in the China-Australia agreement. In September 2015, Obama hosted an official visit to Chinese President Xi Jinping. From the American point of view, the main theme was cyber espionage.
Obama stressed the U.S. desire to protect its companies from intellectual property and the theft of trade secrets. Overall, the United States and China agreed to “provide timely responses to requests for information and assistance regarding malicious cyber activity, not to knowingly carry out or support intellectual property cyber theft, to continue efforts to better identify and promote appropriate standards of state behavior in cyberspace within the international community, and to establish a common dialogue mechanism to combat cybercrime and related issues. In addition, after years of promoting the standard against cyber-industrial espionage, a similar agreement was reached between Britain and China and a report that Berlin would sign a “No Cyber Theft” agreement with Beijing in 2016. In November 2015, China, Brazil, Russia, the United States and other G20 members agreed to the standard against the implementation or support of cybernation intellectual property theft. This brief summary of trends suggests that the general international direction of the United States and China could indeed converge, given that the two nations opt for a number of multilateral and bilateral agreements. What promises that such convergence would lead to bilateral cooperation between the United States and China rather than confrontation is their widely shared belief in the importance of the digital economy and the need to grow and prosper. The United States explicitly supported such a vision in the new USMCA, the Trump Crown trade agreement, while President Xi was much clearer in his speech to the recent Communist Party Congress. He promised that China would “strengthen basic research in applied science, launch major national science and technology projects, and prioritize innovation in key generic technologies, advanced frontier technologies, modern engineering technologies and disruptive technologies.
These efforts will provide powerful support for china`s creation of power in science and technology, product quality, aerospace, cyberspace and transportation; and for the construction of a digital China and a smart society. 8 In addition to discussions on cybersecurity issues, the two heads of state discussed a number of global, regional and bilateral issues. According to a White House fact sheet, Obama and Xi “agreed to manage our differences together and decided to expand and deepen cooperation.” The fact sheet indicates that former National Security Agency official Dave Aitel says the Chinese are moving to a higher class of hacking and have increased skills in all areas, making it more likely that the U.S. and China will be able to cooperate in cyberspace.