Report: Russian Perspectives on China as an Actor in Cyberspace


LeidenAsiaCentre researchers Eric Siyi Zhang and Dr. Rogier Creemers have published a new report as part of the China’s Role in Cyber Security project.

In the report, titled ‘Russian Perspectives on China as an Actor in Cyberspace’, Zhang and Creemers discuss how the so-called ‘Sino-Russian approach’ to internet governance is often simplistically understood as a “black-box coalition” seeking to upend the multi-stakeholder and rule-based order, even though the realities of the Sino-Russian interactions in cyberspace are much more complicated. On one hand, the common distrust of these two states towards the liberal world order and the US hegemony forms the basis for cooperation at the multilateral level, especially on norm-promotion of cyber-sovereignty and a state-based internet governance model. Recently, China and Russia have also intensified their cooperation on regulating online content. On the other hand, from the Russian perspective, there are also several factors, for example perceived cyberespionage and China’s geo-economic prowess, that undermine bilateral trust or hinder further Sino-Russian cooperation. Based on Russian-language academic and policy literature, this report unpacks the multifaceted Sino-Russian relation in cyberspace from a Russian perspective, and provides recommendations for more effective engagement with both countries.

On March 23, the LeidenAsiaCentre organized an online interactive event on the Sino-Russian approach to internet governance and implications for Europe. The authors of the report discussed this issue with the online audience. You can (re)watch it here:


Want to share? Choose Your Platform!

Published On: February, 2021