Barack Obama Xi Jinping
Barack Obama visited Beijing in November 2014 Reuters

US president Barack Obama has called for China to step up its efforts to combat cyber espionage as the White House confirmed that Chinese president Xi Jinping would make his first state visit to the United States.

The US charged five Chinese military officers of hacking into American companies last year in order to steal trade secrets.

The move deeply angered Beijing, who swiftly cancelled a bilateral cyber security working group that the two had established.

Obama called for "swift work" by China on cyber security issues, in a statement issued by the White House announcing the visit.

The US and China have been working together on a number of high-profile issues including reducing greenhouse gas emissions and keeping Iran's and North Korea's nuclear programmes in check.

"The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to coordinate closely on security challenges, including by jointly encouraging Iran to seize the historic opportunity presented by P5+1 negotiations," the White House said in a statement.

For its part, Beijing voiced its concerns over US relations with Taiwan and the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, after Obama joined him for a prayer meeting in Washington last week.

Xi told Obama that he "hopes the US side can pay attention to China's concerns on the Taiwan and Tibet issues, and prevent China-US relations form suffering unnecessary interference."

Xi has visited the US in 2013 for an informal summit and Obama made a state visit to China last year.