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Russia

Why Russia And China See Eye-To-Eye On Cyber Security

Unlike with Washington, Moscow and Beijing agree on how the state can monitor the Internet. Kommersant reports on a new Sino-Russia partnership set to be signed next month.

The penguins are watching at Tencent headquarters in Guangzhou, China
The penguins are watching at Tencent headquarters in Guangzhou, China
Elena Chernenko, Vladislav Novyii and Ivan Safronov

MOSCOW — During President Vladimir Putin's visit to Beijing next month, he is expected to seal a bilateral agreement on cyber-security between Russia and China, according to a source close to the Kremlin and confirmed by two other federal officials. They say presidential advisor Igor Shchyogolev is overseeing the document's final draft, but the final text is not yet available.

Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are also expected to make their first joint announcement about cyber-security, which Kommersant sources say will be substantially broader than last year's agreement between Russia and the United States.

In 2013, Putin and Barack Obama signed the first-ever bilateral agreement on measures of trust in cyberspace, almost like an electronic "non-aggression pact." Included as part of this agreement was the creation of a direct hotline from Washington to Moscow meant to prevent the escalation of cyber incidents, much like the Cold War hotline designed to prevent nuclear war. The agreement also created channels for bilateral exchange of information related to national cyber-security and preparedness. These channels were created during the preparations for the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Russia had hoped to reinforce its relationship with the United States in this arena, with a special working group envisioned to continue working on online security. But because of the events in Ukraine, Washington halted its participation in the working group, although the agreement (including the hotline) continues to be in force.

Instead, Russia and China are now busy forging a new partnership on cyber-security. According to Valeria Yashchenko, vice director of the Institute of Cyber Security at Moscow State University, "a bilateral agreement between Russia and China — two major cyber powers — is long overdue."

When asked if the two sides might be trying to protect themselves in case of potential conflict (as was the case in the agreement with the U.S., which was reminiscent of nuclear-arms agreements), Yashchenko says, "Not necessarily. Moscow and Beijing just want to work together."

Protecting sovereignty, hunting terrorists

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Society

Taking A Position: A Call To Regulate Yoga In India

Trained practitioners warn that unregulated yoga can be detrimental to people's health. The government in India, where the ancient practice was invented, knows this very well — yet continues to postpone regulation.

Prime Minister Modi at a mass yoga demonstration in Lucknow, India

Banjot Kaur

NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the observance of the eighth International Yoga Day from Mysuru, in southwestern India, early on the morning of June 21. Together with his colleagues from the Bharatiya Janata Party, he set out to mark the occasion in various parts of the country — reviving an annual ritual that had to take a break for the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yoga is one of the five kinds of alternative Indian medicine listed under India’s AYUSH efforts — standing for "Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and naturopathy, and Homeopathy." Among them, only yoga is yet to be regulated under any Act of Parliament: All other practices are governed by the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM), Act 2020.

Yoga and naturopathy are taught at the undergraduate level in 70 medical colleges across 14 Indian states. The Mangalore University in Karnataka first launched this course in 1989; today, these subjects are also taught at the postgraduate level.

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