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September 16, 2015

U.S. Will Not Impose Sanctions on China

White House Decided to Hold Off on Sanctions Related to Cyber-Security Until After Chinese President's U.S. Visit

Mar 14, 2012,Then Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Vice-President Joe Biden hosted a lunch in honor of President of the People's Republic of China, His Excellency Xi Jinping, at the Department of State. Photo by Mark Stewart

The United States will not impose sanctions on China for cyber-security crimes ahead of its president’s visit later this month, sources told The Washington Post.

The White House has no wish to put a damper on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit a senior Obama administration official told the publication.

In fact, the source said imposing sanctions before the visit, which includes a black tie state dinner at the White House hosted by President Barack Obama, would be a “diplomatic disaster.”

The decision, according to the unnamed official, was arrived at after an all-night meeting last Friday during which both sides reached “substantial agreements” on a number of cyber-security issues.

That does not mean sanctions will not be imposed at a later date, however.

News of the White House’s decision comes just days after Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told a congressional committee that China is a significant threat to the cyber-security of the United States.

“Chinese cyber espionage continues to target a broad spectrum of U.S. interests, ranging from national security information to sensitive economic data and U.S. intellectual property,” Clapper told the committee. “Improved U.S. cyber-security would complicate Chinese cyber-espionage activities by addressing the less sophisticated threats, and raising the cost and risk if China persists.”