Obama to confront Xi on cyber spying

June 5, 2013 3:48 am


Cyber security will top of the agenda of the talks on Friday and Saturday/FILE
Cyber security will top of the agenda of the talks on Friday and Saturday/FILE
WASHINGTON, Jun 5 – President Barack Obama will tell Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that he must deal with cyber spying and hacking of US targets that originate inside his country when they meet for talks this week.

Recent official and commercial reports and studies alleging flagrant and sometimes state-sponsored theft of US military and commercial secrets have put cyber security at the top of the agenda of the talks on Friday and Saturday.

“We believe that all nations need to abide by international norms and affirm clear rules of the road as it relates to cybersecurity,” a US official told reporters Tuesday, previewing the summit at the Annenberg resort in California.

“That frankly, means dealing with actions emanating from within your territory, so that if there are cyber threats emerging from within another country that pose a risk to US businesses, we’re going to raise that.”

“And so we’re going to do that with China, just as we would insist that every country meet their responsibilities.”

While both sides hope to use the summit, the first formal meeting as equals between Obama and Xi, to ease mistrust and recent tensions, it is clear that the conversation on cyber espionage and hacking will be robust.

China’s ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, indicated that Xi would also be on the offense on the issue during the talks.

“A huge number of Chinese computers, Chinese companies, and Chinese government agencies have also been attacked by hackers,” Cui told Foreign Affairs magazine in an interview.

“If we trace these attacks, maybe some of them, or even most of them, would come from the United States,” he said.

“But we are not in the position to come to the conclusion that these attacks are sponsored or supported by the US government. This is not a very responsible way of making such claims.”

Hoping to defuse pressure for a breakthrough on cyber espionage, the latest issue to rattle relations between the United States and rising superpower China, the sides have scheduled working group talks on the issue in July.

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