All eyes were on Seattle on Sept. 23 as Chinese President Xi Jinping prepared to deliver a speech to a group of Silicon Valley’s top executives.
But many experts doubted how much progress will actually be made from the meeting, CNBC reported.
As part of Xi’s weeklong U.S. tour, which will include stops at the White House and New York, he will meet with corporate CEOs at an Internet industry forum hosted by Microsoft.
“I expect a lot of diplomatic wording about how we're learning to work together, but not a lot of progress," Adam Segal, a senior fellow for China studies and director of the digital and cyberspace policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations, told CNBC.
Many are speculating Xi may discuss the allegations against his country for cyber spy actions, urge companies to oppose rumored sanctions from the White House or request that the firms comply with China’s government-mandated security policy.
Last week reports surfaced that American tech companies hoping to do business in the People’s Republic of China were reportedly being coerced into complying with an intrusive data and security policy.
According to The New York Times, Beijing sent a confidential letter to heads of U.S. tech companies asking the companies to ensure that their products and services released in China are “secure and controllable,” which could potentially lead to backdoors into smartphones, Internet services and any other tech products released for Chinese consumers.
But during a Sept. 21 speech about U.S.-China relations earlier this week, U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice warned China to put an end to its own threatening cyber activities, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“This isn’t a mild irritation,” she said in her speech at George Washington University. “It is an economic and national security concern to the United States. It puts enormous strain on our bilateral relationship, and it is a critical factor in determining the future trajectory of U.S.-China ties."
For several years, U.S. authorities have expressed concerns over the level and frequency of attacks believed to be originating in China. The country has been linked to some massive cybersecurity breaches recently, making it no stranger to cyberfraud accusations.
From the attack on health care provider Anthem, which comprised the data of as many as 78.8 million customer records, to the more recent data breach at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management that led to cybercriminals accessing over 21 million Social Security numbers, 19.7 million forms with data and 5.6 million fingerprint records, Chinese hackers seem to always be on the list of likely suspects.
In an interview this week with WSJ, Xi denied China’s involvement in the high-profile online data breaches, emphasizing a need for the global community to collaboratively work to “build a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative cyberspace on the basis of the principles of mutual respect and mutual trust.”
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