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A September 2015 visit to the U.S. by Chinese President Xi Jinping paved the way for a treaty between the two nations, in which both superpowers agreed to transparency in regards to malicious cyber-attacks. The terms of the agreement allow both countries to cooperate in investigating cyber-crimes and collecting electronic evidence, as well as provide updates and findings on the ongoing investigation(s). Both countries have further agreed that neither country’s government will knowingly support or attempt to electronically steal intellectual property, particularly that which may provide an advantage to the private sector. The two countries further decided to make a common effort to promote norms for international security in cyberspace, and have agreed to create an experts group that will progress discussion on the subject.

China may, however, be violating the terms of the agreement. White House Cyber Security Coordinator Michael Daniel believes the “jury is still out” on whether or not the Chinese government is complying. The U.S. government is currently relying on independent sources to assist in determining whether or not China is holding up its end of the cyber-security agreement. Daniel says he hopes to clear up the issue when Chinese officials return to the White House in June for their twice-a-year cybersecurity summit.

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