Analysing international policy processes and Lithuania’s role in them


The policy analysts and researchers at the Eastern Europe Studies Centre (EESC) regularly publish publications on international politics, security and geopolitics and Lithuania’s role in them.

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Review Apr 10, 2024
China review 2024-1. Elections in Taiwan. China‘s Reaction and Upcoming Challenges

The presidential and parliamentary (Legislative Yuan, 立法院) elections of the Republic of China (Taiwan) took place on 13 January without any major intrigue. Out of three candidates, Lai Ching-te (賴清德), the vice-president of outgoing President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), was elected President of Taiwan.

Raigirdas Boruta
Research Feb 21, 2024
Classic Cleavages in a New Light: Chinese Informational Influence in the Baltics

Institutions and organizations researching and monitoring the informational policies of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are observing a dramatic increase and expansion in the regime’s efforts to shape and influence the global information space.

Simona Merkinaitė Konstantinas Andrijauskas Una Aleksandra Bērziņa-Čerenkova Tomas Jermalavičius Dmitri Teperik
Research Dec 29, 2023
Sino-Lithuanian Relationship: Cautious Engagement, Ties and its Impact on the EU De-Risking Policy

Two years have passed since the opening of the Taiwanese Representative Office in Vilnius and the boiling point of the Sino–Lithuanian conflict that followed. On the surface, Lithuania’s rather firm stance and resistance amidst an authoritarian country’s pressure and qualitatively novel economic statecraft can be treated as a success story, in which it managed to emerge rather unscathed while also helping others realize that China is willing to use all leverages at its disposal to punish.

Raigirdas Boruta Elzė Pinelytė
Review Dec 27, 2023
The 2024 Taiwanese Presidential Elections: A Choice Between War and Peace?

On 13 January 2024, Taiwan will hold presidential and legislative elections. This time, the political spectacle is extremely dramatic, with the opinion polls showing that the race is going to be tight. With no candidate having a strong lead, the main political parties are entrenched in their own political ideologies and visions in order to consolidate their main support bases. The presidential elections are particularly under the spotlight because of the influence that the president has on the country’s foreign policy and, notably, on Cross-Strait relations.

Raigirdas Boruta
Review Dec 18, 2023
China review 2023-10. The Biden-Xi meeting

During the meeting between US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in San Francisco, Xi stated that China “has no plan to surpass or unseat the United States” and he also noted that “the world is big enough to accommodate both China and the United States”. Xi’s messages are in stark contrast to his previous proclamation that “the East is rising and the West is falling.” This signifies that on the diplomatic front, Beijing has recognized the need to de-escalate tensions with the US by easing its stance and projecting a less confrontational and more positive, conciliatory tone.

Raigirdas Boruta Elzė Pinelytė
Review Nov 07, 2023
China review 2023-9. 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative

On September 28, the U.S. State Department’s Global Engagement Centre (GEC) released a special report on how China seeks to reshape the global information environment. In the report China was accused of employing “a variety of deceptive and coercive methods … to influence the international information environment.” As a response, the Chinese Foreign Ministry pushed back hard against the report, accusing the United States of being an “empire of lies” and adding that “it is the US that invented the weaponizing of the global information space.”

Raigirdas Boruta Elzė Pinelytė
Review Oct 11, 2023
China’s Tepid Reaction to Hamas Invasion Shows that its Moral Compass is Broken

Some would say that China’s moral compass already broke in February 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine and China did not condemn the war while maintaining its pro-Kremlin neutrality. But is neutrality the best Beijing can do now in the face of unequivocal evidence of inhumane barbarity by Palestinian terrorists against Israelis in violation of all humanitarian and international law?

Elzė Pinelytė
Review Sep 04, 2023
China review 2023-7. Head in the sand

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced that it will suspend the publication of youth unemployment data while the government seeks to “improve” and “optimize” statistical work. This announcement elicited decision on Chinese social media, with some users on Weibo accusing the government of “burying its head in the sand”. Indeed, the announcement comes at a critical juncture when the unemployment rate for 16- to 24-year-olds in urban areas hit a record high of 21.3%. However, instead of addressing the drastically worsening youth unemployment, the government has chosen to stonewall the issue.

Raigirdas Boruta Elzė Pinelytė
Review Aug 07, 2023
China and Southeast Asia 2023-2: Sino-Russian Relations and the War Against Ukraine

Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the China factor has always remained under the international spotlight. While China, driven by a very pragmatic interest, has been continuing to embrace and strengthen its strategic partnership with Russia, it has also been seeking to be seen as a neutral country to not damage its relations with the West, namely the EU and the US.

Raigirdas Boruta Elzė Pinelytė
Review Aug 02, 2023
China review 2023-6. The vanishing of Qin Gang

In China’s highly secretive political landscape, an abrupt disappearance of a high-ranking official is not uncommon, but it often is a sign of trouble especially since Xi started its anti-corruption drive. In many cases, those officials would later surface along with the announcement of a criminal investigation. But, at the same time, there are instances (with Xi himself included) where politicians re-appear without any explanation.

Raigirdas Boruta Elzė Pinelytė
Review Jul 06, 2023
China review 2023-5. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Beijing

Even though Blinken’s two-day trip to China, the first in his position to visit Beijing since 2018, yielded no breakthroughs on their most sensitive issues, namely the reopening of military-to-military exchanges, the visit appeared to have gone rather well.

Raigirdas Boruta Elzė Pinelytė