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Cyber security on agenda for Obama-Xi meet

world Updated: Jun 07, 2013 00:05 IST
Yashwant Raj

US President Barack Obama is expected to raise aggressively the issue of cyber attacks with China’s Xi Jinping during their weekend meetings starting Friday afternoon in California.

They will be meeting in informal settings — at a 200-acre resort in Sunnylands in California desert — to help them get to know each other and establish a personal chemistry.

And discuss everything of concern to both countries.

Obama is expected to raise with Xi concerns that the US has “about intrusions that we believe emanate from China,” a White House official said briefing reporters about the meetings.

There have been a series of cyber attacks on US businesses, government, newspapers some of which were tracked to a Chinese military facility based in Shanghai. This same facility was also behind attacks on Indian entities. The Chinese, however, have disputed these charges.

Chinese ambassador Cui Tiankai said in a recent interview to a magazine: “I think if they make the accusation, they have to give us proof, hard evidence. Nobody has done that.”

But the two countries have agreed to a high-level working group, which, White House officials have said, the two presidents will be discussing during their meetings.

The agenda for the meetings was described as “broad” —from efforts to “promote economic growth around the world to some of the leading security challenges ... (such as) North Korea.”

This will be their first such meeting after Xi’s promotion to presidentship. They had an extended meeting in the White House in 2012 when Xi visited as vice-president.

The upcoming meeting will also be the first “blue sky” meeting since President Richard Nixon and Chairman Mao Zedong’s met in 1972.