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Leaders of Biggest Economies Get Tough on Cyber Espionage

President Obama and Xi talk tough at a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office. (Image: Pete Souza/White House)
President Obama and Xi talk tough at a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office. (Image: Pete Souza/White House)

Leaders of the world’s two biggest economies recently held serious discussions on how to address growing concern among businesses of cyber security.

In closed-door talks, United States President Barack Obama urged Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping to do more to prevent cyber economic espionage.

In the U.S. alone, cyber theft is estimated to cost local businesses a combined $100 billion each year, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Obama and Xi review the troops. (Image: Amanda Lucidon/White House)

Obama and Xi review the troops. (Image: Amanda Lucidon/White House)

Obama acknowledged the financial burden that offshore hacking has on business.

The U.S. President emphasized his stance on the issue.

“I raised once again our very serious concerns about growing cyber-threats to American companies and American citizens. I indicated that it has to stop. The United States government does not engage in cyber economic espionage for commercial gain,” he said in a public statement.

“I can announce that our two countries have reached a common understanding on the way forward. We’ve agreed that neither the U.S. nor the Chinese government will conduct or knowingly support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, including trade secrets or other confidential business information for commercial advantage.”

Obama and Xi listen to the U.S. national anthem. (Image: Pete Souza/White House)

Obama and Xi listen to the U.S. national anthem. (Image: Pete Souza/White House)

However, the National Security Agency warns the two superpowers must set standards if they are to be successful in discouraging cyber espionage and intellectual property theft.

Admiral Michael Rogers recently told a Senate intelligence committee he has grave concerns about the source of cyber-attacks.

“The greatest amount of activity is still criminal-based, but, when I look at [it] from a national security perspective, I would argue at the moment the nation-state [of China] represents the greater national security challenge,” Rogers said according to CIO.

Billions in profit made on U.S. business

Meanwhile, U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump recently accused the CCP of making hundreds of billions in profit on the U.S. through manipulating the renminbi currency.

“They are threatening us. They are going to make a $300 billion — let’s call it [a] — profit on us this year on the United States. And more importantly, not only $300 billion, they are taking our jobs. We have to do something about China,” Trump told Fox News.

“It’s very tough for our companies to compete with Chinese companies because, very simply, they manipulate their currency and — when you manipulate a currency like they do — they are professionals at it.”

Trump has proposed that Congress introduce a 25 per cent tax on goods made in China unless the CCP “behaves.”

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