Russia-China High-level Cooperation & Chinese Cyberattacks
Russia and China are currently undertaking a week-long joint military exercise in northwestern China. During this drill, the armies of the two countries have, for the first time, joined their command and control systems. Military experts believe that such an integration paves the way for potential Russia-China joint military campaigns against their 'common enemies'. Moreover, there are lot many additions to bilateral relations between these two countries.
China and Russia have announced plans to build a joint moon base by 2030. They have also teamed for a robotic asteroid mission to be launched in 2024.
Apart from space, Moscow and Beijing are also cooperating in the resource-rich region of the Arctic. China has purchased a 10% stake in Russia's massive 'Arctic LNG-2' gas project there. Moreover, China has started to receive shipments from this gas field.
China is the first foreign buyer of Russia's supermaneuverable, advanced Su-35 fighter jet. Moreover, China is also mulling to buy Russia's new Sukhoi Su-57, a fifth-generation multi-role fighter jet. Beijing already has other Sukhoi fighters under its belt. Besides, like India, China too, has purchased the Russian S-400 air defence system.
Russia and China are jointly as well as individually pushing for dedollarization. Russia is speeding the process by taking its Gold Reserves to an all-time high. It has also urged fellow BRICS nations to dump US Dollar in favour of their respective national currencies. With Russia and China, BRICS is already working on Currency Swaps to speed up the dedollarization process.
In contrast to above details, Russia is increasingly experiencing Chinese cyberattacks. Group-IB security consulting has just revealed information about more Chinese cyberattacks on Russian federal officials between 2019-20. Earlier, cybersecurity firm Zirconium had pointed at China expanding cyber espionage, particularly in Russia, for political, economic and military advantages.
Despite these cyberattacks, Russia and China have many geopolitical goals in common and shared interests in many areas. Consequently, considering the high-level cooperation, the reports about Chinese cyberattacks could be a eyewash, a kind of smokescreen, to deepen Russia-China cooperation by keeping the world in the dark.