Australia and China have agreed to enhanced cyber security cooperation following discussions between Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Meng Jianzhu, Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Commission for Political and Legal Affairs in Sydney on 21 April.
This follows Prime Minister Turnbull raising cyber-enabled intellectual property theft issues with Premier Li Keqiang during his visit to Australia in March.
In the 21 April talks, Australia and China agreed that neither country would conduct or support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, trade secrets or confidential business information with the intent of obtaining competitive advantage. This is consistent with a similar agreement between the US and China.
Both countries also agreed to act in accordance with the reports of the UN Group of Governmental Experts on cyber, including the norms of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace identified by those reports.
The two countries agreed to establish a mechanism to discuss cyber security and cyber crime issues with a view to preventing cyber incidents that could create problems between them.
Meng Jianzhu was in Australia for the inaugural meeting of the High-Level Security Dialogue – agreed between the Prime Minister and Premier Li – that was held in Sydney on 21 April. This came on the same day of the one year anniversary of the Australian Cyber Security Strategy where the Prime Minister underlined the growing importance of cyber security as both a threat and an opportunity for Government, the private sector, and broader society.