The White House says U.S. President Barack Obama will talk cybersecurity next week with Chinese President Xi Jinping, amid fresh reports of cyber attacks on critical U.S. defense systems.
U.S. officials have not commented on the latest reports, but White House spokesman Jay Carney says he is sure cybersecurity will be discussed when President Obama meets with President Xi in California. Carney called the issue a "key concern" of the administration that U.S. officials raise at every level in meetings with Chinese counterparts.
Monday, The Washington Post newspaper published parts of a confidential defense report accusing Chinese cyberspies of compromising some of most sensitive and advanced U.S. weapons systems.
Classified sections of the report outlined more than two-dozen breaches of missile defense and other weapons systems by Chinese hackers, including many that had not been previously reported.
China has firmly denied involvement in the hacking attempts. It has also returned the accusation, saying U.S.-based hackers have attacked several Chinese military websites.
The defense report said the weapons designs the hackers compromised include the advanced Patriot missile system and the Navy's Aegis ballistic missile defense system. Vital aircraft and ships, such as the F/A-18 fighter jet, the Black Hawk helicopter and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, were also reportedly targeted.
U.S. officials have increasingly criticized China-based computer hacking attempts, which have been detailed in several recent private and government reports. But Washington has been less pointed in making direct accusations against the Beijing government, instead hoping to use talks to solve the problem.
In Beijing Tuesday, White House National Security Adviser Tom Donilon called for the two sides to boost "non-traditional" military activities, such as peacekeeping, fighting piracy, and disaster relief. Donilon's two-day visit is laying the groundwork for next week's summit between Mr. Obama and Mr. Xi, who has described Beijing's relationship with Washington as being at a "critical juncture."