In Seattle, the talk was of cooperation.
In a speech to American business leaders Tuesday night, China’s president, Xi Jinping, pledged to work with the United States to prevent cybercrime. Mr. Xi’s long-anticipated visit comes over increased tensions over what White House officials say has been a concerted effort by China to attack the computer networks of businesses and government agencies.
“The Chinese government will not in whatever form engage in commercial theft, and hacking against government networks are crimes that must be punished in accordance with the law and relevant international treaties,â Mr. Xi said.
But in Washington, the talk was all about cybertheft. The Office of Personnel Management said on Wednesday that the hackers who stole a large amount of data from the agency also got the fingerprints of 5.6 million federal employees. Intelligence agencies have attributed the hacking to China. The agency had earlier said that 1.1 million fingerprints were stolen.
The fear is that the stolen material could be used to create a reference database of intelligence agents or defense personnel. Even though some financial information was stolen, officials say there is so far no indication that it has been used in any thefts.
Mr. Xi is expected to arrive in Washington on Thursday.