China and the UK have agreed not to conduct industrial cyber-espionage against each other.
The agreement that the two countries won’t attempt to steal each other's trade know-how, or support activities leading to such theft, has been signed during this week’s visit by China’s President Xi Jinping in the UK.
Following talks at 10 Downing Street, the UK Prime Minister David Cameron said the leaders had an ‘open discussion' on ‘difficult issues such as cyber’ and that they ‘reached a new agreement on cyber-enabled espionage’.
Cameron’s spokesperson said the new agreement establishes a foundation for the two countries to tackle the increasingly painful issue.
"It sets out very clearly what they agree they won't do and it establishes this security dialogue to have more discussions on these issues and how we approach them together," the spokeswoman said.
The deal follows concerns about allowing China to invest in sensitive infrastructure like the nuclear power station at Hinkley Point, but Downing Street said the agreement was not motivated by that project.
The deal is the first of its kind to have been signed between China and the UK. In September this year, a similar agreement was signed between China and the USA.