The prestigious visit, which follows Obama’s trip to Beijing in November, will include a lavish State Dinner at the White House that will be attended by the spouses of both leaders, said the statement.
“The president will speak directly and forcefully to President Xi during the upcoming visit about cyber issues”, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday.
When President Barack Obama met with Chinese President Xi Jinping almost a year ago, his visit ended with a stinging lecture.
Even by Chinese standards, the kind of attention that has been accorded to President Xi Jinping’s coming visit to America is unusual.
“This visit is in the interests of friendly cooperation between China and the United States, and is also in the interests of world peace and development”.
Asked whether the Obama administration decided to avoid sanctions at this time in order to focus on the positive and tout the climate change agreement, Earnest said United States officials “have acknowledged that complication”. Yet, business leaders have expressed some concern that cyber sanctions could harm other diplomatic efforts and may not be effective in preventing future cyber attacks from Chinese actors.
The sanctions Washington was weighing would not target suspected hackers of government data but rather foreign citizens and firms believed responsible for cyber-attacks on commercial enterprises.
“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”, Obama said last Friday at Fort Meade.
China could “choose to make this an area of competition”, Obama said, but he issued a stern warning: “I guarantee you, we will win if we have to”.
The potential for sanctions in response to alleged Chinese economic espionage is still there and Beijing’s approach towards cyberspace is a serious issue, a senior White House official told The Washington Post on Monday.
“Frankly, although the Chinese and Russians are close, we’re still the best at this”.
One possible carrot: stopping US electronic spy flights along China’s coast.
Beijing was alarmed in June when the DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), the party’s presidential candidate, visited Washington to rally support from USA officials and politicians.