Analysing international policy processes and Lithuania’s role in them

Indian and Pacific Ocean Programme

Indo-Pacific interaction with our region is not only about economic diversification but also about strengthening political influence. These and other related issues are at the heart of the Indo-Pacific Programme. We invite you to read the latest publications by our analysts or to contact us if you have specific questions.

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
Review Jun 05, 2023
China review 2023-4. G7 Hiroshima Summit

In his keynote speech, the Chinese president urged the region to strive for a “community with a shared future, mutual assistance, common development, universal security and everlasting friendship”.

Raigirdas Boruta Elzė Pinelytė
Review May 11, 2023
China review 2023-3

On 5–7 April, French President Emmanuel Macron, accompanied by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, embarked on a visit to China.

Raigirdas Boruta Elzė Pinelytė
Review Apr 27, 2023
China and Southeast Asia 2023-1: Chinese espionage activities in the US

Towards the end of 2022, Sino-US bilateral ties finally started to signal some cautious steps toward a warming trend. However, this optimism soon dissipated, as the so-called “Chinese spy balloon” incident resulted in yet another serious challenge to Sino-US relations.

Raigirdas Boruta
Review Apr 03, 2023
China review 2023-2

Read our second China review for 2023 in which we look over China's economic and security circumstances, its efforts to continue promoting itself as a key player in the international system, and Chinese manoeuvres regarding the war in Ukraine.

Raigirdas Boruta Elzė Pinelytė
Review Nov 16, 2022
The US-Taiwan-Lithuania Triangle: Partners with a Common Vision for Security

In November 2021, Lithuania’s government agreed to establish a Taiwanese representative office in Vilnius; in August 2022, Nancy Pelosi, the US Speaker of the House, made a bold visit to Taiwan despite all the threatening rhetoric from the People’s Republic of China.

Marshall Reid Tomas Janeliūnas Raigirdas Boruta
Review Oct 24, 2022
China and Southeast Asia 2022/3

The report on human rights in Xinjiang, released at the last minute by U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, was an unpleasant blow to China’s leadership, which had considered her last visit a success.

Raigirdas Boruta
Review Jul 25, 2022
China and South-East Asia 2022/02

While the COVID outbreak in Shanghai and Beijing is considered contained, considerable tensions and uncertainty remain in society due to the fact that severe restrictions can be reapplied at any time.

Raigirdas Boruta
Review Jun 15, 2022
China review 2022-3

10 years ago, on 26 April 2012, the first summit between China and 16 CEE (Central and Eastern European) countries took place in Warsaw, launching the “16 + 1” format for China’s cooperation with the region

Raigirdas Boruta
Review May 04, 2022
China review 2022-2

The strict COVID management policy initiated by Xi Jinping in 2020 has become one of the world’s most impressive success stories: Not only has China successfully contained the outbreak in Wuhan, it has also managed to achieve positive annual economic growth.

Raigirdas Boruta
Review Apr 28, 2022
China and South-East Asia 2022-01

The uncertainty of Beijing’s position over the Russia-Ukraine war and the effort to present itself as a neutral observer is becoming an increasing challenge.

Raigirdas Boruta
Review Nov 30, 2020
Sino-Lithuanian Relations in 2020: Shedding the Masks?

As of the end of 2020, for obvious and rather gloomy reasons the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has actually increased its topical relevance in the world, as well as in Lithuania, in comparison with the previous year which itself already seems to be a distant memory.

Konstantinas Andrijauskas
More publications

About the China Programme

Established in early 2019, the EESC’s China Studies Programme analyses political, economic and socio-cultural processes related to China and its foreign policy. Publications and events aim to deepen understanding of China’s strategic and geopolitical objectives, their impact on Europe and transatlantic relations, as well as on Lithuania’s strategic objectives. The research programme is coordinated by analysts and associate experts from the Eastern Europe Studies Centre.

China Programme Experts

Raigirdas Boruta

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.

Konstantinas Andrijauskas

Associate Professor of Asian Studies and International Politics at Vilnius University (Lithuania); former Senior Visiting Scholar at China’s Fudan (Shanghai, 2011) and Zhejiang (Hangzhou, 2013) Universities, as well as at Columbia University (New York, USA, 2017, Fulbright Scholar Program); author of two books on contemporary Sino-Russian-Indian relations (2016) and on the History of Pre-modern Non-European Civilizations (2018).