Obama calls out China over cyberattacks

Obama calls out China over cyberattacks
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President Obama had blunt words for China on Friday, weeks ahead of a visit to the U.S. by the Chinese president.
 
Asked about cyber threats during a town hall with U.S. troops, the president noted that he would be getting a visit from President Xi Jinping in a couple of weeks.
 
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"We've made very clear to the Chinese that there are certain practices that they're engaging in that we know are emanating from China and are not acceptable," he said at Fort Meade.  
 
"And we can choose to make this an area of competition — which I guarantee you we'll win if we have to — or, alternatively, we can come to an agreement in which we say, this isn't helping anybody," he continued. 
 
"Let's instead try to have some basic rules of the road in terms of how we operate," he added. 
 
U.S. officials have avoided publicly shaming China, but tensions have risen amid beliefs the Asian nation hacked the Office of Personnel Management, stealing personnel data of millions of government employees. 
 
The Obama administration is reportedly weighing sanctions against Chinese interests or companies in response to the hacks. 
 
Earlier Friday, White House confirmed it would break with tradition and not stay at New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly this month because the hotel was sold to a Chinese conglomerate. 
 
Chinese ownership of the hotel has prompted concerns about espionage and security, and Obama and his team will stay at the Lotte New York Palace hotel instead. 
 
China weighed in, admonishing the U.S. for “groundless attacks” against Beijing. 
 
“We hope that the U.S. stops its groundless attacks against China, start dialogue based on a foundation of mutual respect, and jointly build a cyberspace that is peaceful, secure, open and cooperative,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said during a daily news briefing, Reuters reported.
 
“Maintaining cybersecurity should be a point of cooperation rather than a source of friction between both China and the United States,” he added.