As an authoritarian state, the Chinese government needs to adapt its policies and make them more effective in serving local development requirements. With this in mind, Xi Jinping has introduced “new-style think tanks with Chinese characteristics” capable of facilitating the formulation, introduction, and adaptation of new policies. This article uses the case of think tanks specializing in Taiwan-related issues in Fujian province to analyze how both university and private think tanks propose policies promoting local development in line with the central government’s 31 Measures for Taiwan. We analyze three areas of think tank work: policy suggestions and recommendations, surveys and information collection, and policy evaluation. We conclude that the role of Chinese think tanks is to ensure the survival of the authoritarian regime. They are not independent actors with independent sources of financial support. As policy advisers to an authoritarian state, think tanks are used by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to enhance its performance and refine its policies.


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pp. 153-176
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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