David Cameron in China: Britain expected to enter talks over cyber spying

David Cameron says the two countries 'need to properly discuss these issues'
  • @kunaldutta

Britain is expected to enter talks with China over the controversial issue of cyber spying after David Cameron raised the issue during his trade mission to the region.

The Prime Minister articulated his concerns over allegations of Chinese cyber hacking during talks with Li Keqiang, the Chinese premier, on the second day of his trade mission to the country.

Mr Cameron said on Tuesday: “I think that a proper cyber dialogue between countries is necessary and I have raised this with the Chinese leadership - that we need to properly discuss these issues.

”It is an issue of mutual concern and one that we should be discussing.“

Before Edward Snowden's NSA revelations changed the global focus of cyber security, there was widespread concern over the motives of Chinese security firms, amid suggestions that Britain and the US could be susceptible to attack.

A leaked intelligence report earlier this year said that that China could be using equipment sold to mobile phone and internet companies in the UK to spy on people while Nato disclosed in June that its networks sustained 10 serious cyber attacks a month, with some thought to come from Russia or China.

The Snowden revelations have, however, shifted much of the focus. In June the former CIA security contractor told a Chinese newspaper that the US has been hacking computers in China and Hong Kong for the last four years.

Mr Cameron said last night: ”What we need to do is to up our investment in cyber security and cyber defence and that is exactly what GCHQ is doing.“

His comments came amid reports that Britain is expected to give the all-clear next week to Huawei, a major Chinese telecoms firm that has been blocked by American and Australian government amid fears that the company's telecoms equipment might be deliberately left vulnerable to cyber spying.

The Times has reported that a government-led review has found that the company's cyber-security evaluation centre to be safe and the company is expected to be given the authorisation to launch in Britain.

The company, which has abandoned plans to penetrate the American market, has forecast a £650 million investment in the UK during the next five years.