The United States has begun annual security talks with China and says it will raise directly the breach of a federal government server that resulted in the theft of personnel and security clearance records of millions of employees and contractors.
China has openly denied involvement in the break-in. The Obama administration officials have said they are increasingly confident that China's government, not criminal hackers, were responsible.
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U.S. and Chinese officials began talks Monday on thorny issues including cybersecurity, maritime security, military relations and missile defense. The meetings are a prelude to Cabinet-level discussions on security and economy starting on Tuesday.
A senior State Department official described Monday's talks at the State Department as candid. The official was not authorized to speak on the record to brief reporters about the deliberations.