Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Taiwan Gets Slew of Think Tank Delegations

A number of think tank delegations have been visiting Taiwan in recent weeks, as the US says that all signs suggest that China is sticking with its ambitions to be ready to invade Taiwan by 2027.

On March 11, President Tsai Ing-wen received a delegation of think tankers from Washington, DC.  That group, led by Bonnie Glaser, Managing Director of the German Marshall Fund's Indo-Pacific program, included American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Senior Fellow Zack Cooper and Jude Blanchette, Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).  It also included Rick Waters of Eurasia Group.

Blanchette recently co-wrote a piece for CSIS along with Brookings Institution scholar Ryan Hass and CSIS scholar Lily McElwee entitled "Building International Support for Taiwan."  That report was sponsored by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO).

The next day, Tsai received a delegation from the Center for American Progress (CAP), led by Tom Daschle, chair of CAP's board of directors.  Daschle is the Founder and CEO of The Daschle Group (TDG), which has a $25,000 per month contract with TECRO.  In that contract, TDG says it will help TECRO and the administration in Taipei with outreach to think tanks and others.  TDG is a public policy advisory of Baker Donelson.

Meanwhile, a delegation from the US Naval War College recently visited Taiwan, holding a joint seminar with the Institute for National Defense and Security Research (INDSR), a military-backed think tank in Taipei.  The two sides reportedly discussed China's People's Liberation Army and its Navy.  The CEO of INDSR recently participated in a CSIS event on Taiwan.

Scholars have noted that Taiwan's absence of diplomatic relations with most countries means that think tanks play an increasingly important role in bringing Taiwan closer to other countries.

Here is a 2020 piece from Eli Clifton entitled "Taiwan Funding of Think Tanks: Omnipresent And Rarely Disclosed."  China's media often comments on the flood of Taiwanese money going to US think tanks.