Obama's national security adviser to visit China

Obama's national security adviser to visit China
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President Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice will travel to China later this week, on the heels of tensions over the suspected hacking of American government networks and a tumbling stock market.

Rice’s visit to Beijing will lay the groundwork for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s travel to Washington in September.

According to National Security Council spokesman Ned Price, Rice “will underscore the United States’s commitment to building a more productive relationship between our two countries as well as discuss areas of difference” ahead of Xi’s visit.

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The travel on Friday and Saturday comes amid heightened anxieties over turbulent global financial markets, which have dropped in part due to new fears about China’s economy. 

The discussions are also sure to focus on China’s suspected hacking of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which compromised the data of more than 22 million people and surely provided a gold mine of information to foreign intelligence officials. 

The Obama administration has struggled with how to respond to the hack. It has so far declined to officially point the finger at China for the digital theft.

Rice's discussions are also likely to touch on China’s encroachment in the South China Sea and new hostilities between North and South Korea.

She will meet with State Councilor Yang Jiechi and other Chinese officials, the White House said.

Xi’s visit comes in the thick of the presidential primary season, and GOP candidates have already begun to criticize the White House’s willingness to meet with Beijing despite the multiple points of disagreement

On Monday, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), who is running for president, called on President Obama to cancel Xi’s visit because of its economic meddling as well as its cyber incursions.

“Rather than honoring Chinese President Xi Jinping with an official state visit next month, President Obama should focus on holding China accountable over its increasing attempts to undermine U.S. interests,” Walker said.

“Given China’s massive cyberattacks against America, its militarization of the South China Sea, continued state interference with its economy, and persistent persecution of Christians and human rights activists, President Obama needs to cancel the state visit.”