Russia and China expected to renew their espionage vigour

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This article argues that both Russia and China will re-invigorate and expand their international espionage activities. Russia’s renewed vigour in engaging in aggressive espionage campaigns is due to the current setbacks that it is facing as a result of its ill-fated invasion of Ukraine. The sanction-induced prohibitions that limit access to state-of-the-art technologies will unleash renewed enthusiasm to obtain these latest technologies by covert means, be it HUMINT and/or cyberespionage. The future robustness of China’s aggressive espionage activities is projected to be fuelled by its systematic ‘de-coupling’ from those nations leading in science, engineering and technology, such as the United States, as well as the growing opposition to the use of developmental institutions such as the Confucius Institute and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as intelligence collection platforms. This article predicts that as Russia and China become ‘outsiders’, they will becoming increasingly aggressive in their espionage campaigns as pragmatic states acting in survival and developmental mindsets, and it elaborates on some of the more relevant forms of espionage employed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-31
Number of pages31
JournalJournal on Baltic Security
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2023


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