Xi said he and Obama agreed to step up prosecutions and cooperate on investigations of cyber-crime, including a hotline between officials in the two countries.
In their talks, Obama also pressed Xi to follow through on economic reforms and not discriminate against US companies operating in China. “The Chinese and the US will not support theft of intellectual property”, Obama said, calling the agreement “progress” but adding that work on the topic is not yet done.
China will also offer a “very substantial financial commitment” to help poor nations transition to low-pollution technologies, the US officials said, without releasing the exact figure.
In a reminder of potential flashpoints, the United State and China also finalized a confidence-building plan aimed at reducing the risk of aerial collisions between warplanes in areas such as the South China Sea, through adoption of common rules of behavior.
Obama added that the discussions between the two presidents affirmed that governments do not engage in cyber-espionage for again against private companies.
-With assistance from Mike Dorning, Angela Greiling Keane and Justin Sink in Washington.
President Xi’s first state visit to the US came at a time of record tensions between the two countries over issues ranging from hacking and data theft to oppressive restrictions on foreign businesses.
US and Chinese officials sought to cast their talks in a favourable light by showcasing at least one area of cooperation – the global fight against climate change. Obama has faced calls from some Republican presidential candidates to scale back the grandeur of Xi’s visit, which included an Oval Office meeting, the joint news conference and a black-tie dinner.
On the thorny issue of China’s disputed territorial claims, which have unnerved some United States partners in Asia, Xi said China has “the right to uphold our own sovereignty”.
President Xi said his country would match the U.S.’s commitment to stop any commercial trade in ivory, in a stunning announcement that dramatically fortifies a prior statement on the subject from a senior Chinese leader.
Desiree Rogers, a former social secretary for Obama who planned more than 300 events, including a state dinner for the Indian prime minister, said the goal is to “make it just as, if not more enjoyable, than the last time for the group”.
As for the possibility of sanctions, against either individuals, businesses or state-run companies, he said: “We will apply those, and whatever other tools we have in our tool kit, to go after cybercriminals either retrospectively or prospectively”.
Today, President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping announced an important climate agreement. Moments earlier, Obama had said he welcomes the rise of a China that is stable, prosperous and peaceful, because that benefits everyone.
“There’s been a debate in Western countries about whether or not China is a market system”, echoed Qi Ye, the director of the Climate Policy Institute. Each leader noted there will be disagreements, with Obama saying the United States will always speak out on behalf of fundamental truths and Xi saying the two countries needed to be “broad-minded” when there are differences.
Xi, standing beside him, later said that the two countries must “must promote world peace and development, improve coordination on major worldwide and regional issues, make concerted efforts to address global challenges, and work with other nations to build a better world”.
Obama says Xi’s visit reflects the history of “friendship and cooperation” between their two nations.
The White House says it skipped the firing of weapons when Francis arrived in deference to the pope’s humility.