Following talks between UK premier David Cameron and president Xi Jinping in Downing Street, China agreed not to direct cyber-espionage against UK companies. China will also invest £6 billion in a new nuclear power plant in Britain, due to be built in Somerset around 2025.
Cameron stated that China and Britain signed a “high-level security dialogue” on cyber-crime, which focuses on stopping attacks on companies to gain access to intellectual property, confidential information or to damage systems.
He applauded the agreement along with billions of pounds in trade deals being signed by British and Chinese companies during Jinping's visit to Britain.
GCHQ has reported disturbing levels of cyber-attacks on British companies, thought mostly to have originated in Russia and China.
The pact is the first between Britain and China committing to work together on cyber-security.
It follows a similar agreement with the US that was criticised for being more symbolic than effective, not really changing anything - because critical infrastrucuture attacks are not happening, and commercial attacks are not always under the control of the government (People's Liberation Army) - and latest reports have said that cyber-attacks on the US are continuing since the agreement there, and that the infrastructure of cyber-hacking is too vast to quickly dismantle, even if the intent were there.