China, US officials to pave way for Xi's visit

China, US officials to pave way for Xi’s visit

Advance exchange to focus on South China Sea, cybersecurity

China and the United States will exchange visits by officials in preparation for theupcoming September state visit by President Xi Jinping to the US, the first state visit by aChinese president since 2011.

Analysts said the senior officials are to assess the impact of recent escalated tension oncybersecurity and South China Sea, prior to Xi’s visit.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Monday that several senior US officials willvisit China in August and September, while officials from China visit the US.

Niu Jun, a professor of international relations at Peking University, said that apart fromfinalizing the schedule and ceremonial details of Xi’s visit, the officials are likely toexchange views on cybersecurity and the South China Sea, issues that have raised tensionsin the months since the visit was officially announced in February.

“Reports in the US media accusing China of being the biggest online hacking suspect havemade cybersecurity a top issue in bilateral relations at the moment; and the tone doesn’tseem to have lowered despite the upcoming visit of state leaders,” Niu said.

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