Chinese President Xi Jinping Arrives In Washington For U.S. State Visit – Huffington Post

CYBER SECURITY CAUSING MAJOR FRICTION

High on the agenda is cyber security. Washington is considering sanctions against Chinese companies and individuals it accuses of stealing U.S. trade secrets.

Responding to U.S. allegations that China has been behind cyber attacks affecting American business and government databases, Xi insisted during his visit to Seattle that the Communist government in Beijing did not support such activities and pledged to work with the United States to fight cyber crime.

“We put more stock in their actions than their words.” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on Thursday.

While Obama’s aides say no formal cyber security agreement is likely, China’s top Internet regulator suggested in a closed-door session with U.S. executives in Seattle this week that a basic deal against cyber warfare was possible, according to one person present.

Obama is also expected to press Xi to follow through on economic reforms and refrain from discrimination against U.S. companies operating in China. Some analysts believe Obama has more leverage due to China’s slowing economic growth, which has destabilized global markets and raised doubts about Xi’s economic stewardship.

At the same time, the Obama administration is still at a loss on how to curb China’s assertiveness in the South China Sea, where in waters that Beijing disputes with its neighbors it has continued land reclamation for potential military use.

Calls for Obama to take a harder line with China have echoed from Congress to the 2016 Republican presidential campaign. But his approach will be tempered because the world’s two biggest economies are inextricably bound together.

For his part, Xi, with nationalistic sentiment rising at home, can ill afford the appearance of making concessions.

Xi’s meetings with Obama could also bolster the Chinese leader’s stature at home, building on a high-profile military parade earlier this month to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, while deflecting attention from China’s economic problems.

As for whether the pope’s visit had overshadowed Xi’s, Earnest said: “I have not heard anybody raise that concern.”

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