(Beijing) – The United States and China have long debated industrial spying and intellectual property rights issues. However, recent reports accusing China of widespread hacking activities have intensified the exchanges.
On February 20, the White House released a strategy paper outlining an approach for protecting the trade secrets of U.S. companies. "Emerging trends indicate that the pace of economic espionage and trade secret theft against U.S. corporations is accelerating," the report said.
It noted that "cyber intrusion activity" targeting trade secrets in particular posed a threat to American businesses.
The strategy paper said the United States would put in place five measures to protect its trade secrets. It would focus diplomatic efforts on protecting trade secrets overseas and applying diplomatic pressure; help private industry protect trade secrets by supporting and promoting best practices; enhance domestic law enforcement operations; improve domestic legislation; and promote public awareness.
Although the White House has denied the strategy paper was aimed at China, its content and the timing of its release indicated it had a lot to do with China.
In the 141-page paper, China appears on 31 pages, sometimes as many as 14 times per page. An appendix from the Department of Justice described 20 economic espionage and trade secret criminal cases between January 2009 and January 2013, and 17 involved China.