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Chinese Cyber-Hacking Discussed At Obama-Xi Summit

Sunday, June 09, 2013

A two-day summit between President Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, is being described as a "unique, positive and constructive" meeting that reportedly produced broad agreement on handling North Korea and put the thorny issue of cybersecurity at the forefront.

It was hoped the summit, which wrapped up Saturday in California, would be an opportunity for the two men to establish a personal relationship weeks after Xi assumed the presidency in China.

Speaking late Saturday about the summit, national security adviser Tom Donilon said resolving the cybersecurity issue would be "key to the future" of the relationship.

As we've written in the past, the U.S. has accused China's military of hacking into U.S. government and corporate networks, and of swiping sensitive data.

According to Donilon, Obama told Xi that "if it's not addressed, if it continues to be this direct theft of United States property, that this was going to be very difficult problem in the economic relationship and was going to be an inhibitor to the relationship really reaching its full potential."

The Associated Press says that Chinese officials, in their own recap of the meetings, said Xi expressed his opposition to all forms of cyberspying, but claimed no responsibility for the attacks on the U.S.

"Cybersecurity should not become the root cause of mutual suspicion and frictions between our two countries. Rather, it should be a new bright spot in our cooperation," said Yang Jiechi, Xi's senior foreign policy adviser.

On North Korea, Donilon said the two sides agreed that Pyongyang "has to denuclearize, that neither country will accept North Korea as a nuclear-armed state and that we would work together to deepen co-operation and dialogue to achieve denuclearization."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Source: NPR

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