To 'counter' China, US and Australia need to boost cyber security: Report

WION Web Team
New York, United States Published: Jun 23, 2020, 03:43 PM(IST)

Morrison and Trump Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Its release comes at a particularly difficult time for Australia-China relations, which have been strained in recent years by disputes over issues including the origin of the coronavirus, alleged Chinese cyber attack on Australia and Beijing’s assertive moves in the South China Sea.

Australia needs to boost its cyber security in cooperation with the United States in order to ''counter'' China, according to a recent report.

According to the report released Tuesday by the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, the allies should jointly develop health care and digital infrastructure in developing Pacific nations and increase military cooperation amid ''immense global disruption and unprecedented domestic pressures'' exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Also read: China threatens retaliation for US curbs on 'propaganda' outlets

The report, titled 'Bolstering resilience in the Indo-Pacific: Policy options for Ausmin after Covid-19', describes a ''strategic environment'' that has dramatically worsened amid a shifting balance of power resulting from declining US influence and an increase in China’s use of ''coercive statecraft.''

''These developments threaten to bring about the establishment of a Chinese sphere of influence by reducing the access and influence the US, Australia and others have enjoyed,'' said the report, the release of which comes ahead of the annual Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (Ausmin) at an undetermined date later this year.

Also read: Australia sees China as main suspect in state-based cyberattacks, says report

Canberra and Washington, allies under a mutual defence treaty signed in the aftermath of Word War II, should cooperate in Pacific nations ''on joint projects which support the immediate pandemic response while advancing broader development outcomes in the region.''

''Bilateral cooperation provides an opportunity for continued American engagement in the region with a comparatively smaller investment of resources, which can leverage Australia’s pre-existing experience and relationships in the Pacific,'' it said.

The report, produced with funding by the Australian Department of Defence and arms manufacturers Northrop Grumman and Thales, also calls on the countries to improve their capabilities to counter state-backed disinformation, which it describes as an ''urgent priority in light of China’s aggressive use of disinformation during Covid-19.''

Its release comes at a particularly difficult time for Australia-China relations, which have been strained in recent years by disputes over issues including the origin of the coronavirus, alleged Chinese cyber attack on Australia and Beijing’s assertive moves in the South China Sea.

Read in App