• China-Australia Cybersecurity Cooperation

China-Australia Cybersecurity Cooperation (Photo : Getty Images)

Australia has agreed to work with China on cybersecurity issues following a meeting between Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Commission for Political and Legal Affairs Meng Jianzhu in Sydney last week.

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An article on zdnet.com said that the two countries have agreed not to engage in or support online theft of intellectual property, trade secrets or confidential business information to gain competitive advantage.

According to a statement from the Australian prime minister, the two countries have also agreed to abide by the reports of the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts on cyber-sphere, which include the standards of responsible state behavior in cyberspace.

The two countries also plan to create a mechanism on how to negotiate cybersecurity and cybercrime issues to prevent cyber incidents that could affect the relations between the two countries.

The agreement on cybersecurity alliance came a month after Turnbull and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met, where cyber-related intellectual property theft issues were raised.

A memorandum of understanding on intellectual property was signed between China's State Intellectual Property Office and IP Australia during the meeting in March.

"This new agreement deepens the existing cooperation between Australia and China on intellectual property matters and supports the role of our newly created IP Counsellor to China," Arthur Sinodinos, Industry, Innovation and Science minister, said last month.

"It will enrich the bilateral relationship, help us provide guidance on the IP systems in both countries, and assist Australian businesses to better navigate the Chinese IP system," the minister added.

According to the report, the new agreement is similar to the one signed between China and the U.S. in September last year which established "a high-level joint dialogue mechanism on fighting cybercrime and related issues."

Australia and the U.S. also have a similar arrangement in which the two countries conduct an annual Australia-U.S. Cyber Security Dialogue.

President Xi was previously quoted as saying that Internet sovereignty should be protected as he maintained that countries should not meddle in other countries' internal affairs.

"We should respect every country's own choice of their Internet development path and management model, their Internet public policy, and the right to participate in managing international cyberspace," Xi said at the time.

"There should be no cyber-hegemony, no interfering in others' internal affairs, no engaging, supporting, or inciting cyber activities that would harm the national security of other countries."

The two countries also signed a formal "Dialogue on Innovation" agreement in March that will enable both to exchange ideas on innovation and as cybersecurity.