US dismisses speculations on cyber sanction over China

US announces sanctions over China will cast shadow over Chinese President Xi Jinping high-profile visit

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

US President Barack Obama, left, shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping after their press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing-Archive

The United State has dismissed speculations on its plan to impose santions on Chinese establishments for economic cyber attacks ahead of the upcoming visit by Chinise President Xi Jinping, a US official reported on Tuesday.

The unidentified US official revealed that the reason behind the statement was to prevent any obstacle over Xi’s visit and instead suggested the emergence of a major agreement between the two countries on how to tackle the issue.

It would be a diplomatic disaster for the US to impose sanctions before Xi’s high-profile visit, including a black tie state dinner at the white House to be hosted by President Barack Obama, said the person who briefed at the White House.

The Washington Post first reported the statement, quoting a senior Obama administration official saying the decision came after an all-night meeting during which the two countires reached “substantial agreement” on several cybersecurity matters.

The Washington Post cited the official as saying sanctions were not ruled out and China's behaviour in cyberspace is still a matter to discuss. "But there is an agreement, and there are not going to be any sanctions" before the Chinese president's arrival on Sept. 24.

Last week, US officials said Washington was considering to impose sanctions against both Russian and Chinese individuals and firms  responsible for the cyber attacks against US commercial targets. 

If carried out, the action would be the US' first use of an executive order signed by Obama in April to take severe measures on foreign hackers accused of spying the US computer systems.

Two industry sources following the matter closely said that the idea of imposing sanctions in general has only mixed support among big companies that would be the intended beneficiaries.

Two industry sources, claimed that the issue of imposing sanctions in general has only mixed support for the interest among big companies.

In general, the tech industry cares more about increasing access to the Chinese market, which is expected to be a main topic at the Seattle meetings between the Chinese president and the heads of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT.O), Apple Inc. (AAPL.O) and other companies.