Analysing international policy processes and Lithuania’s role in them
Review Nov 18, 2020

The Crumbling Eastern European “Pearl” within the BRI Strategy: Chinese Domestic Media’s Coverage of the 2020 Belarusian Protests and Bilateral Ties


Since 1994, Alexander Lukashenko’s authoritarian rule and his regime’s grip on power has strengthened continuously, at the great cost of diminishing Belarusian civil liberties. Throughout these years, Lukashenko’s foreign policy underwent several recalculations that focused on attempts to maintain societal stability, improve the country’s economic situation and, more importantly, to balance Belarusian ties with the EU and Russia. Over time, society’s calls for liberalization of the country became a huge challenge for the government. As a result, Lukashenko’s regime became increasingly oppressive and based on ruling with an iron fist. Every Belarusian presidential election was increasingly absurd and questionable, with evidence of various restrictions placed on movement, internet access, the use of fake ballots, etc. Society’s growing anger boiled over after the 2020 presidential elections.

Associate Expert of RESC China Research Program, PhD student at VU Institute of International Relations and Political Science. Raigirdas holds a bachelor’s degree in Asian and Pacific Studies (Chinese Studies) from Lancashire Central University (UK). After studying, he went to China, where he spent five years studying and working. Raigirdas completed a year-long intensive Chinese language and culture course at the Sichuan University (Confucius Institute Scholarship). In 2020, he graduated from Sichuan University (China) with a Master’s degree in International Relations in Chinese. Raigirdas interests: sinology, Chinese foreign and domestic policy, history of the PRC, relations and conflicts between East Asian countries.