Beijing said Tuesday it is willing to talk with the US about cyber security issues, though it did not mention specific areas for discussion.
The official announcement came a day after the White house called on Beijing to take "serious steps" to curb cyber theft, as both countries have accused each other of hacking into foreign corporate and government websites, according to Reuters.
"China is willing, on the basis of the principles of mutual respect and mutual trust, to have constructive dialogue and cooperation on this issue with the international community including the US to maintain the security, openness and peace of the Internet," said China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chuying.
On Monday, US National Security Advisor Tom Donilon said China must be open to dialogue with the US and agree to “acceptable norms of behavior in cyberspace.”
“Increasingly, US businesses are speaking out about their serious concerns about sophisticated, targeted theft of confidential business information and proprietary technologies through cyber intrusions emanating from China on an unprecedented scale,” Donilon said in a speech to the Asia Society in New York.
Last month a US security firm released a detailed 60-page study that linked China's army to cyber attacks against the US.
"Our research and observations indicate that the Communist Party of China is tasking the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to commit systematic cyber espionage and data theft against organizations around the world," the report said.
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Beijing claims two of its military websites suffered more than 140,000 cyber attacks a month last year, two-thirds of the invasions emanating from the US, according to Reuters.
At Tuesday's daily news briefing, Chuying repeated China's claim that it too is a victim of cyber theft and espionage.
"Internet security is a global issue. In fact, China is a marginalized group in this regard, and one of the biggest victims of hacking attacks," she said.