The agreement was reached during talks between Canada's national
security and intelligence adviser, Daniel Jean, and senior
communist party official Wang Yongqing, a statement dated June
22 on the Canadian government's website showed.
"This is something that three or four years ago (Beijing) would
not even have entertained in the conversation," an unnamed
Canadian government official told the Globe and Mail, which
first reported the agreement.
The new agreement only covers economic cyber espionage, which
includes hacking corporate secrets and proprietary technology,
but does not deal with state-sponsored cyber spying for
"The two sides agreed that neither country's government would
conduct or knowingly support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual
property, including trade secrets or other confidential business
information, with the intent of providing competitive advantages
to companies or commercial sectors," the Canadian government
said in the statement.
A statement released by China's official Xinhua news agency last
week about the meeting contained broadly similar wording on
Some countries, including the United States, have long accused
Beijing of sponsoring hacking attacks on companies in an effort
to acquire sensitive foreign technology. China denies those
accusations, and says that it is also a victim of hacking.
In 2015, China and the United States came to a similar
understanding on corporate cyber espionage, after the Obama
administration had mulled targeted sanctions against Chinese
individuals and companies for cyber attacks against U.S.
U.S. cyber security executives and government advisers said
breaches attributed to China-based groups had dropped around the
time of that agreement.
China this month put into effect a new cyber security law
designed to strengthen critical infrastructure, even as many
global tech firms and lobbies said the rules skewed the playing
field against foreign firms.
(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengalore and Michael Martina in
Beijing; Additional reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa and
Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)
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