Oyuna Baldakova comes from Buryatia (Russian Siberia) from an ethnic minority group – the Buryats. She has been living in Germany for the past six years. Oyuna did her Bachelor studies in Linguistics (English and Chinese) in Russia and earned her Master’s degree in East Asian Studies in Germany. After that, she worked in the field of international development interning at UNESCO Bangkok, managing an EU-funded project in Central Asia, and running communications at the International Organization of Folk Art (IOV) Youth section.
In October 2016, she joined a PhD program at the Graduate School of East Asian Studies at Freie University, Berlin with a supplementary full fellowship. Oyuna’s research focus is the Chinese foreign aid, its institutional framework and de facto implementation of the One Belt One Road – Silk Road Economic Belt Initiative for Central Asia. Here, she attempts to determine whether China can offer an effective alternative model of international development.