The US intelligence is known to believe that Russia is far more dangerous than China when it comes to cyber spying. Well, how about this news?
On Friday, Russia and China expressly showed the world that they are pals. Russian and Chinese leaders signed a cyber-security deal, which further strengthens the relations between Beijing and Moscow.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the 12-page document contains the two countries’ pledge not to conduct cyber-attacks against one another and support each other in fending off any technology that might “destabilize the internal political and socio-economic atmosphere,” “disturb public order” or “interfere with the internal affairs of the state.”
The document also says that China and Russia agreed to exchange information between law enforcement agencies, exchange technologies and ensure security of information infrastructure in order to “investigate cases involving the use of information and communication technologies for terrorist and criminal purposes.”
Furthermore, this week, China cited “cyberspace sovereignty” in an attempt to upgrade its national security law to make it illegal to conduct online attacks or cyber theft as well as disseminate ‘unlawful and harmful’ material on the Internet.
Putin: the Internet is a CIA project
As it was reported earlier, the Russian President Vladimir Putin called for moving key Internet infrastructure into Russia from overseas, expressing his concerns and opinion last year that the Internet began as “a CIA project.”
Meanwhile, Russian lawmakers have repeatedly called for Moscow to get tighter control over the Internet after the scandalous revelations by former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
Russia’s annexation of Crimea, its ongoing support of pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine in the one-year-old conflict that has already killed over 6,000 people, as well as the West’s economic sanctions imposed on Russia, have turned the Kremlin to seek friends in the East.
“For Russia the agreement with China to cooperate on cyber security is an important step in terms of pivoting to the East,” Oleg Demidov, a cyber-security consultant at the PIR Center, an independent think tank focusing on international security, told The Wall Street Journal. “The level of cooperation between Russian and China will set a precedent for two global cyber security powers,” he added.
More cooperation pacts signed by Russia and China
Along with the cybersecurity “nonaggression pact,” China and Russia signed 32 bilateral agreements regarding their regional interests in Central Asia as well as securing over $6 billion in Chinese investment in a Russian intercity rail line.
“The results are O.K. if measured against reality and not the propaganda,” Alexander Gabuev, chairman of the Russia program at the Asia-Pacific Program at the Carnegie Moscow Center, said of the talks. “The Russians have finally understood that China will invest only if it sees benefits.”
According to the Associated Press, Russia’s Gazprom also signed a memorandum of understanding with China’s CNPC to build a gas pipeline to China and sell up to 30 billion cubic meters of gas. However, further details have not been revealed yet.
The two presidents also discussed the Silk Road Economic Belt, a thriving Chinese project to improve trade and infrastructure development along countries in Asia and Europe. The Kremlin had always been fond of the China’s project to increase its reputation in the region, and now the two presidents finally reached a mutually beneficial agreement on the issue.
After the talks, Vladimir Putin said Moscow welcomes the participation of Chinese companies in tapping the giant Vankor oil and gas fields in eastern Siberia.
The President of China Xi Jinping, in turn, said he will coordinate the Chinese plans with Russia-led integration efforts to “expand mutual openness and link development strategies.”
Xi Jinping was warmly met in Russia and deserved live coverage of his arrival and the talks on state television. Furthermore, over 100 Chinese soldiers participated in the massive military parade yesterday, while Chinese and Russian warships are set to take part in joint exercises in the Black Sea next week.
Russia’s collapse will ultimately lead to China’s collapse
Yes, it is obvious that the two countries are eager to make more economic, military as well as cybersecurity deals, as both Beijing and Moscow find themselves isolated from the world. However, the fact that the relations between the two countries have not always been as friendly as they seem now is highly important in analyzing the current geopolitical situation.
Russia and China, which share 5,000-mile border obviously have a lot to offer to each other and, as a result, get lots of benefits from their cooperation. Considering the fact that Russia has decreased the amount of export of its energy to the West, it is looking for other, more reliable and stable in their understanding, energy importers. China, for its part, needs energy and is happy to accept all the oil and gas deals the Kremlin is offering.
It is also important to note that China’s military power largely depends on Russia. The Kremlin supplies most of China’s cutting-edge fighter jets, missile systems, avionics and many other weaponry. Losing a partner like that is not something China wants. However, by making so many deals with Russia, the Chinese leadership should not forget the current state of Russia’s economy.
As the West constantly predicts the upcoming collapse of Russia’s economy, Beijing is definitely not interested in that kind of scenario. Therefore, despite all the historical differences between the two countries, China is helping Russia as much as it can. Otherwise, if it doesn’t – the consequences of Russia’s weakening will set off the slow and painful process of China’s collapse.