According to the recent agreement, China has promised not to use cyber-espionage to steal commercial secrets from the United Kingdom. Xi Jinping, China’s president, spoke positively about improving human rights during his state visit. On his part, David Cameron publicly brushed aside concerns about cooperating with an undemocratic nation and announced cooperation on sensitive issues of security. Indeed, the UK believes that the cyber agreement is a first step towards wider potential security cooperation between China and the United Kingdom, where both countries promise not to condone or conduct spying on each other’s data.
Previously, security experts reported high levels of cyber-attacks on UK companies, which are mostly blamed upon China and Russia. The UK-China cooperation mirrors one recently agreed between China and the US. While David Cameron was pointed to a new relationship between the countries, China’s president claimed said they are ready to increase cooperation over the difficult issue of human rights and defended China’s steel strategy against accusations it is dumping cut-price product on the market. At the same time, David Cameron also defended the UK’s decision to push for closer ties with China, but admitted that he did raise the issue of human rights with Xi Jinping. Thus far, it is unknown how the UK Prime Minister approached the subject and whether he raised the plight of any particular people.
Overall, the talks focused on trade and foreign affairs, with China and the UK discussing the potential for common ground on Syria. The United Kingdom is believed to be seeking to persuade China not to vote in tandem with Russia at the United Nations.