Obama, Xi agree to end economic espionage

President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping promoted new agreements Friday on cybersecurity and climate that they said could yield breakthroughs for their nations. President Obama said at a news conference announcing the agreement.


Additionally, they agreed to establish a joint dialogue on fighting cyber crime and related issues.

“We have broad common interests in the field of cyber, but we need to strengthen co-operation and avoid confrontation”, Mr Xi said.

Admiral Harry Harris, commander of US forces in the Pacific, told the Aspen Security Forum in July that China was building hangers on one of the reefs – Fiery Cross – that appeared to be for tactical fighter aircraft. “And we will be watching carefully to make an assessment as to whether progress has been made in this area”, Obama said at Friday’s press conference.

In what was possibly the final summit between the pair in a two-way setting – US President Barack Obama leaves office in 2017 – China sought to emphasize cooperation amid concerns the next administration may take a tougher stance against it.

Top polluter China has pledged a United States dollars 3 billion fund to help developing countries combat climate change and announced plans to launch a national emission trading system which will set a price on greenhouse pollution in 2017.

-With assistance from Mike Dorning, Angela Greiling Keane and Justin Sink in Washington.

Beijing has taken an increasingly aggressive posture in the South China Sea and disputes over territories in the East China Sea continue to cause tension between Beijing and its neighbors, many of which are close US allies.

“We have, I think, made significant progress in agreeing to how our law enforcement and investigators are going to work together”, Obama said during a question-and-answer session after the address.

It has especially emphasized the distinction in the wake of the revelations from National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden about the nature of America’s own massive intelligence-gathering operation, something China has point to at the same time it has denied allegations of hacking US businesses.

Nonetheless, apparently rattled by the threat of sanctions – a threat that Obama reiterated in his meetings with Xi – China agreed to affirm the norm against cyber economic spying. While Xi reiterated China had the right to uphold its territorial sovereignty, he also said it did “not intend to pursue militarisation” of the artificial islands it had built there.

Xi, for his part, said that while “democracy and human rights are the common pursuit of mankind…we must recognize that countries have different historical processes and realities”.

The red carpet and full ceremonial welcome accorded to Xi from the White House underlined the importance of the growing dependence of the two great powers, but the leaders candidly expressed their differences.


Our correspondent in Washington, Stefan Grobe, witnessed events:”Despite the red-carpet treatment for the Chinese leader, there seems to be little personal warmth between Obama and Xi Jinping – and even less trust”.

Chinese President Xi Jinping,U.S. President Barack Obama At A Joint Press Conference At The White House