NEW YORK : The United States and China have agreed to hold regular, high-level meetings aimed at setting standards for behavior on cybersecurity and commercial spying, the White House confirmed Sunday.

The talks -- first reported by The New York Times -- have a wide agenda, focusing not just on hacking but also on developing ground rules for operating in cyberspace, an official told AFP.

In its report Saturday, the Times said the talks are the "first diplomatic effort to defuse the tensions over what the United States says is a daily barrage of computer break-ins and theft of corporate and govt secrets." An unnamed senior US official involved in negotiations to hold the regular meetings told the newspaper that "we need to get some norms and rules." The first talks were set for July. "US officials say they do not expect the process to immediately," the Times said.