US-China cyber meeting sets stage for Xi Jinping visit

September 14, 2015 10:02
US National Security Adviser Susan Rice has had a 'frank and open exchange' about cyber issues with senior Chinese official  Meng Jianzhu. Photo: Huffington Post

Chinese and US officials have ended four days of meetings on cyber security and other issues, ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Washington later this month.

Cyber security has been a divisive issue between Washington and Beijing, with the US accusing Chinese hackers of attacks on US computers, a charge China denies.

US national security adviser Susan Rice had a "frank and open exchange about cyber issues" in her meeting this week with Meng Jianzhu, secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the Chinese Communist Party, Reuters reports, citing the White House.

The Chinese delegation also had meetings with Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey and representatives from the Justice, State and Treasury departments and the intelligence community.

China's official Xinhua news agency said Meng, who is the country's domestic security chief, had reached "important consensus" with the US during his visit.

Both countries agree it is "vital" they cooperate on fighting hacking, Meng said, adding that China will punish anyone who hacks from within China's borders or steals corporate secrets.

"China's position on opposing hacking and stealing commercial secrets online is resolute," Xinhua cited Meng as saying.

President Barack Obama said last month he would raise concerns about China's cyber security behavior when he meets with Xi in Washington.

The Obama administration is considering targeted sanctions against Chinese individuals and companies for cyber attacks against US commercial targets, several US officials have said.

Chinese hackers have also been implicated in the massive hacking of the US government's personnel office disclosed this year.

Two breaches of security clearance applications exposed the personal data of more than 20 million federal employees.

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