Press Release - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Belfer Center Convenes U.S.-China Cyber Security Working Group

| May 03, 2019

Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs hosted the second working group with the China Institute for International Strategic Studies (CIISS), a Track II Dialogue to facilitate discussions between the U.S. and China, as well as representatives from both countries’ tech sectors, on the risks of cyber conflict. The Track II will explore existing and new tools for mitigating these risks and possible areas for collaboration.

“The U.S. and China have a tremendous amount of power in cyber, and without appropriate dialogue there is a heightened chance for inadvertent conflict,” said Ash Carter, Director of the Belfer Center and former U.S. Secretary of Defense.

Eric Rosenbach, Co-Director of the Belfer Center, added, “We need to stop talking past each other, have frank and constructive conversations and start working on mutual interests. We’re uniquely placed at the Belfer Center to convene a diverse group of stakeholders on both sides to tackle one of the most difficult international issues today.”

The working group in Cambridge brought together 20 representatives including former government and military officials, as well as tech, business, and academic professionals to discuss current issues in the bilateral cyber relationship. Both sides worked through a fictitious cyber scenario to discuss what their respective governments and companies would do in the face of a third party cyber attack on critical infrastructure. The working group also discussed AI, IP theft, supply chain security and Huawei, arms control frameworks, and controlling the spread of malware over the dark web. The next working group will take place in August in Shanghai, followed by a November working group in Cambridge.

Ahead of the August meeting, the team, led by the project’s Research Director Julia Voo, will begin designing a joint framework for stability between the U.S. and China in cyberspace looking specifically at controlling the spread of malware as an area of shared concern and possible collaboration.

This Track II Dialogue is made possible through a grant from the Harvard Global Institute (HGI) and the Harvard President’s Office. The team at Harvard Kennedy School works through the Belfer Center under the Cyber Project.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:Belfer Center Convenes U.S.-China Cyber Security Working Group .” Press Release, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, May 3, 2019.