Scott Warren Harold, Martin C. Libicki & Astrid Cevallos, Getting to Yes with China in Cyberspace (Rand Corporation) (Doc. No. RR-1335-RC) (2016) (full-text).
Since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the U.S.-China relationship has been characterized by substantial areas of conflict, confrontation, and strategic mistrust. The tensions that divide the two countries have been growing in importance in recent years. Unfortunately, they apply just as much to cyberspace as to relations in the physical world. Indeed, of all the areas where the relationship between the two sides is troubled, cyberspace has been one of the most contentious.
The United States and China began formal negotiations in 2013 to resolve such differences, only to see them abruptly end in 2014, when China broke them off in response to the U.S. indictment of several Chinese military officers on charges related to cyberespionage activities.
This report is a response to the absence of a formal dialogue and explores U.S. policy options for managing relations with China over this critical policy area. It looks at two basic questions: Can the United States and China return to meaningful formal negotiations over norms and rules in cyberspace? And, if so, what areas are most likely to yield agreement, and what might be exchanged for what?
This analysis should be of interest to two communities: those concerned with U.S. relations with China and those concerned with developing norms of conduct in cyberspace, notably those that enhance security and freedom.