As for the possibility of sanctions, against either individuals, businesses or state-run companies, he said: “We will apply those, and whatever other tools we have in our tool kit, to go after cybercriminals either retrospectively or prospectively”.
For his part, Mr Xi, faced with nationalistic sentiment rising at home, can ill afford the appearance of making concessions.
“We have the right to uphold our own territorial sovereignty and lawful and legitimate maritime rights and interests”, President Xi said.
The USA and China announced agreement on broad anti-hacking principles aimed at stopping the theft of corporate trade secrets though President Barack Obama pointedly said he has not ruled out invoking sanctions for violators.
On Tuesday, Xi touched on a litany of issues that have seriously frayed US-China ties, promising that China would not manipulate its currency to boost exports, nor engage in cyber theft and that it would speed up the opening of its market.
Obama and Xi were also expected to discuss China’s disputed territorial claims, which have unnerved some US partners in Asia.
An agreement with China could open up more of that nation’s massive market to American companies, provide clearer rules for Chinese investment in the US, and create jobs in both countries, supporters say. He said construction work on artificial islands doesn’t “target or impact any country, and China does not intend to pursue militarization”. I am also encouraged that the Chinese have agreed to give prompt attention to law enforcement requests for assistance when a cyber criminal is believed to be within their jurisdiction.
But he promised respect for freedom of navigation and overflight.
Beyond climate issues, major topics of recent discussion concerning the bilateral relationship include economic reform and military-to-military cooperation.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is traveling throughout the greater Seattle area as he visits Boeing, Microsoft and a local high school.
Some environmental groups said this surprise announcement could help members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reach an agreement on phasing out public finance for coal projects at its next meeting in November. But he added that China stands ready to “conduct human rights dialogue with the United States” and “learn from each other”.
USA and Chinese officials sought to cast their talks in a favourable light by showcasing at least one area of cooperation – the global fight against climate change.
A joint statement listed a series of measures taken to flesh out their pledge, made previous year, to work to reduce emissions. The US has already made a commitment of $3 billion and the administration is working with Congress to secure the pledged money.
Mr Xi, speaking through a translator, called on the U.S. and China to be “broadminded about differences and disagreements”.
Obama, in turn, said, “The United States will always speak out on behalf of fundamental truths”.
The White House’s concerns over China’s cyberattacks in the US have caused particular strain ahead of Xi’s visit.
The United States and China unveiled an ambitious plan to curb greenhouse gases today, including a nationwide cap-and-trade system beginning in 2017. Those sectors produce “a substantial percentage of China’s climate pollution”, one official said.
Zuckerberg’s post about his brief chat with Xi sparked debate among internet users over China’s censorship. While China has publicly denied being behind such activities, US officials say their counterparts in Beijing have begun to take the matter more seriously, as well as the potential impact on ties with Washington.