Obama, China's Xi discuss cybersecurity
By Steve Holland ,ReutersWASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama took mounting U.S. concerns about computer hacking straight to China's president on Thursday in a sign of how seriously the United States takes the threat of cyber attacks emanating from China.
March 16, 2013, 12:06 am TWN
A day after meeting with U.S. corporate CEOs in the White House Situation Room about cyber threats, Obama spoke by phone with Chinese President Xi Jinping about the cyber issue as well as North Korea's nuclear challenge, currency and trade issues.
The two leaders committed to engage in an ongoing discussion to address the cyber issue, White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters. “Given our significant concerns in this space we need to ensure protection for our citizens, our security and our businesses,” he said.
Earlier this week, U.S. intelligence leaders said for the first time that cyber attacks and cyber espionage had supplanted terrorism as the top security threat facing the United States.
Obama called Xi to congratulate him on his new position and both agreed on the value of regular high-level discussions. To that end, Obama noted that U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will visit China next week to be followed in coming weeks by Secretary of State John Kerry, a White House statement said.
Obama welcomed China's commitment to G-20 nations to move toward a more flexible currency exchange rate, a development long sought by the United States to allow U.S. exports to become more competitive in Chinese markets.
Administration officials have said China has made progress in valuing its currency, allowing the yuan to appreciate by about 15 percent against the U.S. dollar in recent years. But Lew has said China's yuan remains undervalued.