Austin Compares China and Russia’s Cyber Relationship with the West

News | January 28, 2019

On December 13-14, EastWest Institute Professorial Fellow Greg Austin spoke at the “Cyberstability: Approaches, Perspectives, Challenges” international conference hosted by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Institute of Information Security Issues at Lomonosov Moscow State University and International Affairs magazine.

The conference pooled expertise from international and Russian scholars and top decision makers.

Held in Moscow, the two-day conference hosted leading experts, international and Russian scholars and top decision makers to examine pressing issues such as state responsibility and sovereignty, international cyber cooperation and future challenges associated with emerging technologies, including Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things. The vulnerability of Smart Cities being hacked and the Russian Digital Economy program were also addressed.

Austin’s remarks explored China’s cybersecurity landscape and its challenges concerning a certain level dependency on Western technology. Citing his 2018 book, Cybersecurity in China, Austin observed that China’s cybersecurity remains weak owing to several reasons, including a poorly developed cyber industrial complex. He also observed that the country’s reliance on U.S. networks means we should not take at face value China’s absolutist view of cyberspace sovereignty. At the same time, the U.S. ICT sector increasingly relies on Chinese products and hardware, meaning a greater level of co-dependency is being realized. Russia, in contrast, is less technologically engaged with the West at the commercial level, affording it greater capacity than China to tolerate confrontational bilateral relations with the U.S., Austin noted.

Austin’s involvement in the cyberstability conference was coordinated by the EWI Moscow office in the framework of EWI’s partnership with the Institute for Information Security Issues of the Moscow State University (IISI MSU).

Click here for additional information about the conference.