back to article Obama faces off China's prez: We can't be pals with all this cyber-theft

US President Barack Obama took his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to task over the weekend for the Communist state's alleged swiping of American intellectual property. White House national security advisor Thomas Donilon told reporters that the president had gone over the issue of cyber-espionage and the digital theft of …


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  1. Christoph

    So is he claiming that the gigantic US intelligence apparatus is *not* spying on China? In that case what are they wasting all that money on?

  2. Quxy

    "cybersecurity [is] now really at the centre of the relationship"

    Apparently so... now that the US has authorised offensive cyber attacks on economic grounds*.

    [*] However,"operations that are likely to result in... major economic impact... require Presidential approval". So that's OK then.

  3. Spook

    In other news...

    Pot calls kettle black

  4. smudge
    Big Brother

    "Cybersecurity ... should be a new bright spot in our cooperation," Yang said

    "So we've agreed that we will collect all their Internet data and sell it back to them."

  5. h3

    The "gigantic intelligence apparatus" is going to make things easier for China.

    (The even funnier thing in a not very nice way is that sort of thing is exactly what China does and the US condemns.)

    I just don't get why politicians would ever go for things like this.

    Maybe they are just better at lying to themselves than I am.

    (I think it is almost certain at some point these things will be used for great evil. The only question is when. Stalin or Hitler would have loved this type of technology.)

    1. Charles Manning

      Politicians only reflect the wants of the voters

      If politicians think that one-way spying is fine, well you can bet your bottom dollar the voters do too.

      The whole "Leaders of the Free World" mindset builds a noblesse oblige to be the world's policeman and look over the rest of the world.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Obama just wants to outsource spying on Americans to China, so he can truthfully-in-a-suitably-narrow-sense say his administration is NOT spying on Americans.

    And Xi Jinping wants to outsource spying on Chinese to America, for exactly the same reason.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah, the irony...

    I bet the power of that long planned conversation must have suffered a tad with those NSA revelations.

    I'd given Obama a loud laugh after such statements, and casually have some US newspapers lying around with the NSA headlines..

  8. GotThumbs

    Whose got the purse strings?

    Just waiting for China to call due all the loans to the US.

    Over 1 Trillion in loans to the US and China just needs to call in the debt to further destabilize the US IMO.

    Obama has shown he has zero clout/weight/credibility when it comes to foreign leaders. Case in point: When the Chilean president took it upon himself to sit at the presidents desk in the oval office....that's not a trivial matter. I'd bet the Chilean leader even passed gas while in the chair just for good measure.

    There is significant meaning behind that bold move to sit in a leaders chair in that nation's capital. That would be like Obama sitting in the queens throne IMO. Totally inappropriate and disrespectful.

    1. James Micallef Silver badge

      Re: Who's got the purse strings?

      "Who's got the purse strings?"

      Unfortunately that's not how debt works in real life. If I owe the bank a $10k loan that I took out to buy a car, then if I default they'll send round the bailiffs to take the car back. If my company owes the bank $10million that I can't pay now, the bank is usually better off deferring the loan so I can pay it later rather than forcing me to bankruptcy and never seeing anything of the loan again.

      China is in the same position with respect to US. If China calls in the debt all at once and the US can't pay, the US will either default or super-inflate the dollar, and either way China loses out. It's a much better bet for China to use US debt to buy US assets (or indeed anywhere in the world)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mutual suspicion?

    "Cybersecurity should not become the root cause of mutual suspicion"

    Of course not.

    Chinese, US citizen, anyone else - don't be suspicious about us. We're not about you. We just really like your data in a cybersecure, trustworthy sort of way.

  10. W. Anderson

    Real push or American bravado!

    Unless one can hear the audio exchange between President Obama and President Xi Jinping of China, the reports of Mr. obama's "tough tone" talking points to the Chinese leader ae purely hearsay and American bravado in play.

    I remember quite clearly the US media and White House Press claiming that President Bush (2nd) "demanded" that the Saudis enact sactions against Iran, when it was revealed shortly thereafter that the "truth" - via audio tapes from the Saudi Arabian government, clarified that the USA president politely and meekly "asked" the Saudi King to support US efforts in sanctions against this and other countries.

    Neither President Bush, nor anyone in his Cabinet, or those that accompanies him on that trip or any other prominent Republican politician ever disputed, to any degree what-so-ever, that the tapes were false or incorrect.

    This present situation with the Chinese leader could very well be exactly the same.

  11. Adam Inistrator

    I think China has vastly more to gain by spying on American corps than vice versa. Much US tech has been developed because of their strong capitalism and legal system. China is a primitive pick pocket by comparison regardless of their economic boom. If and when China starts generating new tech then they will have our true respect.

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