What President Xi Actually Said About Online Theft of Intellectual Property

By Herb Lin
Saturday, September 26, 2015, 1:18 PM

In my earlier post on the cybersecurity portions of the summit, I noted the importance of an authoritative public Chinese statement on the substance of the agreement between China and the United States. As it turns out, President Xi did make a statement about this, speaking in Chinese at the Xi-Obama news conference.

The C-SPAN video of the conference is here (, and at the 18:53 mark, Xi says the following:

“Both governments would not engage in or knowingly support online theft of intellectual properties.”

What is reported above is the English translation of a simultaneous translator, and may not accurately reflect the meaning of Xi’s words, which were spoken in Chinese. But if the translation is accurate, I’d say that the statement can be regarded as authoritative. Whether it will lead to actions to support it is as yet uncertain.

I also note without further comment that President Xi’s speech in Seattle on September 22, 2015 contained similar remarks. There, he said that

China is a strong defender of cybersecurity. China is also a victim of hacking attacks. The Chinese government will not, in any way, participate, encourage, or support the theft of commercial secrets by anyone.

See the video at, at the 00:25 mark.

So he has said it twice, in Chinese, for the world to see (but we don't know if these remarks have been broadcast in China).