The Global Taiwan Institute (GTI), the first major U.S.-based think tank devoted to Taiwan and cross-Strait affairs, is scheduled to start formal operations on September 14. The institute has reportedly raised an initial fund of US$20 million, of which US$3 million was used to purchase a building in the Dupont Circle area of Washington, D.C. to serve as its headquarters.
On its Facebook page, the group describes its function as being “a policy incubator for stronger U.S.-Taiwan relations that reflect objective reality, address global change, and engage Taiwan in its own right.”
Robert Y. Lai, a specialist in hydraulic energy who has been active in the Taiwanese-American community, will serve as the organization’s chairman. During the Chen Shui-bian administration, Lai returned from the United States, where he had been teaching at the University of Wisconsin, to take up the chairmanship of Taiwan’s National Applied Research Laboratories.
Former president Lee Teng-hui has been named GTI’s honorary advisor, and economist Wu Rong-I, Taiwan’s vice premier in 2005-2006, will be honorary chairman.