US, China to work on cyber code of conduct

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Kerry: U.S., China Committed to Cyber Code of Conduct

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama closed out two days of talks between U.S. and Chinese officials on Wednesday by raising concerns about Chinese cyber behavior and tensions over disputed seas of East Asia. He urged China to take action to reduce the tensions, the White House said.

Secretary of State John Kerry said China agreed to work with the U.S. to complete a code of conduct on cyber activities. He said intrusions have raised security questions and harmed U.S. businesses, and the two countries should be working together for a shared understanding of appropriate state behavior in cyberspace.

The high-level talks in Washington were a prelude to Chinese President Xi Jinping's upcoming visit to the U.S. this fall, with both sides emphasizing areas of cooperation, particularly on climate change.

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US, China to work on cyber code of conduct
China's Vice Premier Wang Yang speaks at the 7th US China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) and 6th Consultation on People-to-People (CPE) at the US State Dept. in Washington, Tuesday, June 23, 2015.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Sec. of State John Kerry, left, talk with Sec. of Commerce Penny Pritzker at the 7th US China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) and 6th Consultation on People-to-People (CPE) at the US State Dept. in Washington, Tuesday, June 23, 2015. Roughly two weeks after Kerry broke his femur in a bike crash, another member of Obama's cabinet has been sidelined thanks to a fall from a bike. Pritzker was on a bike ride with her husband in Michigan when she ran over some gravel and crashed. Pritzker is now on crutches after bruising her left hip, although she reportedly did not break any bones. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Sec. of State John Kerry, left, talks with US Ambassador to China Max Baucus, right, at the 7th US China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) and 6th Consultation on People-to-People (CPE) at the US State Dept. in Washington, Tuesday, June 23, 2015.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Zhang Xiangchen, Deputy China International Trade Representative of the Ministry of Commerce of China at a press briefing by the Chinese Delegation at the 7th US China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) and 6th Consultation on People-to-People (CPE) at the US State Dept. in Washington, Tuesday, June 23, 2015.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Vice Premier of the People' s Republic of China, Liu Yandong speaks at the 7th US China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) and 6th Consultation on People-to-People (CPE) at the US State Dept. in Washington, Tuesday, June 23, 2015.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the 7th US China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) and 6th Consultation on People-to-People (CPE) at the US State Dept. in Washington, Tuesday, June 23, 2015.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Sec. of State John Kerry at the 7th US China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) and 6th Consultation on People-to-People (CPE) at the US State Dept. in Washington, Tuesday, June 23, 2015.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Xie Zhenhua, Special Representative for Climate Change Affairs of China's National Development and Reform Commission, at a press briefing by the Chinese Delegation at the 7th US China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) and 6th Consultation on People-to-People (CPE) at the US State Dept. in Washington, Tuesday, June 23, 2015.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Vice President Joe Biden, left, walks past China's State Councilor Yang Jiechi, right, before speaking at the 7th US China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) and 6th Consultation on People-to-People (CPE) at the US State Dept. in Washington, Tuesday, June 23, 2015.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, left, with China's Vice Premier Wang Yang, right, talk on stage at the 7th US China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) and 6th Consultation on People-to-People (CPE) at the US State Department in Washington, Tuesday, June 23, 2015.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Vice Premier of the People' s Republic of China, Liu Yandong and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, right, shake hands on stage at the 7th US China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) and 6th Consultation on People-to-People (CPE) at the U.S. State Department in Washington, Tuesday, June 23, 2015.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, left, and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, right, meet on stage at the 7th US China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) and 6th Consultation on People-to-People (CPE) at the US State Department in Washington, Tuesday, June 23, 2015.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew walks to the podium before speaking at the 7th US China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) and 6th Consultation on People-to-People (CPE) at the U.S. State Department in Washington, Tuesday, June 23, 2015.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, left, shakes hands with China's State Councilor Yang Jiechi, right, at the 7th US China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) and 6th Consultation on People-to-People (CPE) at the US State Department in Washington, Tuesday, June 23, 2015.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Vice President Joe Biden, center, speaks at the 7th US China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) and 6th Consultation on People-to-People (CPE) at the US State Department in Washington, Tuesday, June 23, 2015.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the 7th US China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) and 6th Consultation on People-to-People (CPE) at the U.S. State Department in Washington, Tuesday, June 23, 2015.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 23: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy speaks prior to a panel discussion on energy and environment cooperation during the Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) June 23, 2015 at the State Department in Washington, DC. Officials from both countries participated in the seventh annual U.S. China Strategic and Economic Dialogue to discuss bilateral issues. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 23: Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker after they participate in a family photo during the Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED), and Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) June 23, 2015 at the State Department in Washington, DC. Officials from both countries participated in the seventh annual U.S. - China Strategic and Economic Dialogue to discuss bilateral issues. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 23: (L-R) Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew, and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi, participate in a panel discussion on energy and environment cooperation during the Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) June 23, 2015 at the State Department in Washington, DC. Officials from both countries participated in the seventh annual U.S. Ð China Strategic and Economic Dialogue to discuss bilateral issues. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Deputy Sec. of State Antony J. Blinken, left, with China's State Councilor Yang Jiechi, right, and members of the US and Chinese delegations during a meeting at the 7th US China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) and 6th Consultation on People-to-People (CPE) at the US State Dept. in Washington, Tuesday, June 23, 2015.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 23: Delegation from both sides, including, front row from left to right, Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang, Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen participate in a family photo during the Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED), and Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) June 23, 2015 at the State Department in Washington, DC. Officials from both countries participated in the seventh annual U.S. - China Strategic and Economic Dialogue to discuss bilateral issues. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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On Wednesday they agreed to step up cooperation on preserving the ocean and combating illegal fishing. Kerry said that shows the two nations are "working hard to address differences and to find the areas of commonality."

On the economic front, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said China has committed to intervene in the foreign exchange market only when necessitated by disorderly market conditions.

The U.S. has long been concerned that China's currency is undervalued against the dollar, which helps its exporters. Lew acknowledged the renminbi has appreciated in value, and China's foreign exchange intervention has declined over the past year.

But Obama made clear that problems remain as U.S. officials met with leaders of the Chinese delegation at the White House on Wednesday afternoon.

"The President raised ongoing U.S. concerns about China's cyber and maritime behavior, and he urged China to take concrete steps to lower tensions," the White House said in a statement after the meeting.

State Councilor Yang Jiechi said China cracks down on hacking and is ready to cooperate with the U.S. on cybersecurity. But he urged the U.S. to "respect facts." China has recently denied allegations it was behind a massive breach of U.S. federal personnel records

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