Cybersecurity, Korea Peninsula discussed

March 15, 2013 at 2:04 AM
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BEIJING, March 15 (UPI) -- Cybersecurity was discussed during U.S. President Barack Obama's congratulatory telephone talk with China's new President Xi Jinping, official media said.

"Xi and Obama also exchanged views on the situation of the Korean Peninsula, cyber security among other issues," Xinhua News Agency said in its report on Obama's telephone call to congratulate Xi on his election as Chinese president. "Xi expressed China's principles and positions on those issues."

The report gave no other details.

The United States has taken serious note on the issue of cyber security as China is seen as making cyberattacks on U.S. websites and its military is suspected of controlling some of the Chinese hackers. The Chinese government has strongly denied such activities and has called for cooperation on the issue.

In his media briefing, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Obama spoke with Xi to congratulate the latter.

"And this is a very important relationship and a very important series of issues that we deal with on a regular basis with the Chinese government," Carney said.

He said he didn't have specifics on the phone call "but I can tell you that at every level, when we engage with our counterparts in the Chinese government, we talk about all the range of issues that are important between us, all the substantial economic cooperation, security cooperation, and also the issues where we have disagreements and concerns."

Carney said Obama and his administration "look forward to working with President Xi and the rest of the Chinese government's new leadership team, and that the President, as he has throughout his presidency, has put a priority on our relationship with China and the issue set that we deal with when we engage with our Chinese counterparts."

The Xinhua report quoted Obama as saying U.S.-China relations are faced with a historic opportunity to chart a course for future development.

Xi said China and the United States have enormous common interests, but also differences. He said China firmly maintains and promotes the development of China-U.S. relations, and would like to work with the United States in enhancing mutual trust, expanding cooperation, handling differences, and maintaining high-level contacts.

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