The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday introduced two new think tanks to enhance its policy initiatives while strengthening dialogue with China and the rest of the world....
The Economic and Social Affairs Research Center and the Security and Strategy Research Center are part of the party’s revamped New Frontier Foundation, created under former DPP chairman Lin I-hsiung (林義雄), and include retired government ministers and former representatives abroad.
The value of these think tanks as mechanisms for dialogue with China should not be underestimated. A great deal of communication and probing is done through academic channels and the DPP could use a few more of those in formulating it's China stance.
At the ceremony for the founding of the think tanks, DPP Chair Tsai Ing-wen also gave a speech about cross strait policy. While short on details about the future, Tsai's speech did place the cross-strait relationship through the lens of the international community and she sees Taiwan's current status as a result of modern East Asian history (read: not merely a Chinese civil war). She rejected political preconditions for discussions (read: One China) but said Taiwan must do it's part to maintain peace and stability across the strait (read: maintain dialogue with China). These think tanks are part of that effort.
I'm psyched about the think tanks and imaginative policy initiatives, but I wonder if the DPP can come to any further internal consensus on Taiwan's status and future which will be received warmly by Beijing. Unfortunately, Beijing holds the veto on that and has no reason to show flexibility with the DPP right now when things are going so swimmingly with the KMT.