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US accuses China of ramping up hacking efforts


Chinese hacking efforts aimed at theft of U.S. technology has sharply increased ahead of President Trump's planned meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping over the two nations' trade dispute, according to a U.S. government report.

The Associated Press reports that Trump's top trade representative Robert Lighthizer issued a report Tuesday detailing a "sharp rise" in Chinese hacking efforts over the past several months ahead of the planned meeting at the G20 summit in Argentina later this month.

“China fundamentally has not altered” its policies related to theft of foreign technology, “and indeed appears to have taken further unreasonable actions,” Lighthizer's report reads, according to the AP.

Hacking attacks, the report continues, have “increased in frequency and sophistication" in the last year.

Asked about the report, China's foreign minister Geng Shuang called it the result of "trade frictions" that were "natural" between two countries.

“The key is to engage in dialogue and consultation on the issue based on mutual respect, equality and good faith,” Geng said at a news briefing according to the AP.

Trump is set to huddle with Xi at the upcoming G20 summit, where the two are likely to discuss escalating back-and-forth tariff measures the two nations have traded for months.

Reuters reported this week that some U.S. farmers have been forced to watch their crops, normally exported to China, rot instead due to inability to sell their product.

“I’ve never seen things this bad,” soybean farmer Russell Altom told Reuters. “I know several farmers who hired lawyers, to see if they can sue over the pricing and fees issues.”

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