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U.S. announces cyber deals with Singapore as Washington looks to counter Beijing

The Biden administration on Monday unveiled a series of agreements with Singapore, including three meant to bolster cybersecurity ties and combat digital threats.

The announcement from the White House coincides with Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip to the region, which is part of the administration’s efforts to counter China’s growing influence there. The deals came after Harris met with Singapore President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the Defense and Treasury departments each signed a memorandum of understanding with their Singapore counterparts to greatly expand information sharing.

The finalized agreement between CISA and the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore “will enhance information exchange on cyber threats and defensive measures, increase coordination for cyber incident response, and enable cybersecurity capacity building across Southeast Asia,” according to the White House.

Meanwhile, the inked deal between Treasury and the Monetary Authority of Singapore “will help both of our financial sectors be more prepared for and resilient to cyber threats, while also facilitating bilateral information sharing on cyber threats to financial markets.”

Information sharing will also be a main point between the Pentagon and the Singapore Ministry of Defense, which finalized an MOU on Cyber Cooperation, including “exchange of threat indicators, combined cyber training and exercises, and other forms of military-to-military cooperation on cyber issues.”

Relations between Washington and Beijing have been in a steady decline for years and have only grown worse since last month when the U.S. and its allies accused China of a global digital espionage campaign.

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Martin Matishak

Martin Matishak is a senior cybersecurity reporter for The Record. He spent the last five years at Politico, where he covered Congress, the Pentagon and the U.S. intelligence community and was a driving force behind the publication's cybersecurity newsletter.