U.S. and China officials ended a weeklong meeting on Saturday where they discussed cyber security, prior to Chinese President Xi Jinping visiting the White House in the following weeks.
The United States have been accusing China for espionage and hacking U.S. computers. The Chinese government has been denying the claims of such involvement and insists that they, too, have been a victim of cyber attacks.
According to Reuters, the White House issued a statement saying that the U.S. National Security adviser Susan Rice met with Meng Jianzhu, the Secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the Chinese Communist Party. The statement says that they had a “frank and open exchange about cyber issues.”
The White house also stated that the Chinese delegation also met with the James Comey, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and officials from the State, Justice and Treasury departments, as well as members of the intelligence community.
According to Reuters, the official Chinese news agency Xinhua stated that there was an “important consensus” reached during the visit and that Meng said China is in full cooperation with the united States in fighting hacking and cyber attacks and that everyone who hacks or steals corporate secrets and is located within China’s borders, will be punished. He stated “China’s position on opposing hacking and stealing commercial secrets online is resolute.”
The United States has also accused China of hacking into the U.S. government’s Office of Personnel Management earlier this year, exposing data of more than 20 million government employees and making two breaches of security clearance, potentially exposing U.S. spies abroad.
According to Reuters, the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified on Thursday in front of a Congressional Intelligence Committee regarding Beijing’s cyber attacks on U.S. targets and corporate espionage. He said “Chinese cyber espionage continues to target a broad spectrum of U.S. interests, ranging from national security information to sensitive economic data and U.S. intellectual property.”
President Barack Obama has also commented on the issue of cyber security on Friday and stated that the united States need to be more rapid in responding to any cyber attack and that the cyber practices from China are simply unacceptable.
Obama has been called upon for tighter U.S. cyber security measures and improving U.S. cyber security regarding the less sophisticated threats and with the raise of cost and risk. His administration is considering targeted sanctions for Chinese individuals and corporations regarding cyber attacks against U.S. commercial targets. President Obama is due to meet with Chinese President Xi in Washington in late September when he will raise further concerns about China’s security behavior.