Four days of talks wrap up to help prepare for president Xi Jinping’s visit later this month including a ‘frank and open exchange’ about thorny cyber issues
Senior US and Chinese officials have met to discuss cybersecurity and other issues ahead of Chinese president Xi Jinping’s visit to Washington later this month.
Cybersecurity is a thorny topic between the two powers and China has long been blamed for cyber attacks on US commercial interests and sensitive government personnel records.
The discussions included a “frank and open exchange about cyber issues” between the president’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, and Meng Jianzhu, a senior Communist party secretary for political and legal affairs, the White House said.
Meng also met with the FBI director, James Comey, and the homeland security secretary, Jeh Johnson, who convened a meeting between the Chinese delegation and representatives from the FBI, the intelligence community and the state, treasury and justice departments.
Following a spate of hacks on US companies and government agencies that have been blamed on China, administration officials have pointedly let it be known that Chinese firms and individuals could face sanctions.
The move appears to be triggered in particular by a recent breach of US federal government personnel files that left millions of officials exposed – including some at the highest levels.
Obama will offer Xi a full state welcome at the White House during his 24-25 September visit.
Word of the four days of meetings that wrapped up on Saturday comes after The US president, Barack Obama, warned that cyber attacks from China were “not acceptable”.
“There comes a point at which we consider this a core national security threat and will treat it as such,” Obama said on Friday.