During the first speech of his seven-day trip to the United States, Chinese President Xi Jinping told an audience in Seattle that his government "will not engage in cyberthefts or encourage such thefts by anyone."
Xi said that stealing information online is a crime, and he is prepared to have a "high-level joint dialogue mechanism" with the United States over cyberattacks. The Obama administration has pinned a summer cyberattack that hacked into the personnel files of close to 22 million government workers on China; the country says it was not involved. U.S. officials will bring the issue of cyberattacks up to Xi when he arrives in Washington, and although the administration wants to solve the problem over talks, Ben Rhodes, White House deputy national security adviser, said Tuesday the U.S. is "not averse to punitive measures, including sanctions."
Xi spoke at a welcome banquet attended by about 750 people, including Bill Gates, Henry Kissinger, who introduced Xi, and top officials from Starbucks, Microsoft, Ford, Dow Chemical, and DuPont, The Washington Post reports.