Obama to raise hacking concerns with Chinese president during visit

Obama to raise hacking concerns with Chinese president during visit
© Getty Images

The White House said on Monday that President Obama will address rising concerns about cyberattacks during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s high-profile visit next week.

Spokesman Josh Earnest said Monday that the cybersecurity talks between senior U.S. and Chinese officials this weekend will spill into the two presidents' meeting next week.

“I can tell you there was a pretty candid exchange of views. We have been blunt in our assessment that it has significant consequences for national security and our economy,” Earnest told reporters. “I would anticipate that discussion will continue when the president has the opportunity to meet with his counterpart.”

White House leaders, including national security adviser Susan Rice, met with Chinese officials for four days on cybersecurity. One of the top representatives from China, Secretary Meng Jianzhu, told China's official Xinhua news agency that he had reached an "important consensus" during his visit.

Still, White House officials are not revealing what actions, if any, the U.S. plans to take against the Chinese amid growing concerns over hacking.

“I don’t anticipate that we’ll have additional information about any actions that will be taken, if any action is taken,” Earnest said. “There's not a whole lot more details I can provide about the conversations.”

The Obama administration has been eyeing economic sanctions against China, where domestic hackers are increasingly trying to steal corporate secrets. In one instance, Chinese hackers have been blamed for infiltrating the government's personnel office, where more than 20 million workers' personal data was exposed.