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China vows joint efforts on securing cyberspace

A Foreign Ministry spokesman vowed on Monday that China will work with the international community to build a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative cyberspace.

Spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks at a regular press briefing when asked to comment on a speech by U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on cyberspace.

"The United States does not seek to militarize cyberspace," said Hagel at the National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland on Friday.

The Pentagon "will maintain an approach of restraint to any cyber operations outside the U.S. government networks. We are urging other nations to do the same," Hagel said.

He said the United States wants to promote the qualities of the Internet that have made it a "catalyst for freedom and prosperity."

"We have taken note of the U.S. statement," said Hong, adding that information and communication technologies are conducive to social and economic development as well as human well-being.

It is in line with the common interests of the international society to safeguard peace in cyberspace and prevent it from becoming a new battleground, said the spokesman.

China hopes the United States can turn its remarks into concrete policies and actions, he added.

Next week, Hagel will begin a tour of Asia with a stop in China, which will be his first as defense secretary.

His speech was seen as an effort to ease strains and shape the dialogue over cyber issues ahead of Hagel's China trip, which follows reports in The New York Times and Germany's Der Spiegel that the NSA had secretly tapped Chinese telecom giant Huawei for years.

[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 31Mar14]

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