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2 US non-profits to open Taiwan offices, promote democracy in Asia-Pacific

National Democratic Institute, International Republican Institute chose Taiwan for its democratic society

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Taipei City (Pixabay/bohdanchreptak photo)

Taipei City (Pixabay/bohdanchreptak photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two American non-profit organizations with a focus on promoting democracy are planning to set up new offices in Taipei, as they view Taiwan’s democratic society as a model for Asia.

Taiwanese Representative to the U.S. Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) welcomed the decision by both the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI) to expand their presence to Taiwan. “As important international NGOs, their offices will further connect our civil societies and be a significant voice for advancing democracy in the region,” she tweeted.

Washington-based NDI on Wednesday (Oct. 28) announced its plan to open a representative office in Taipei later this year. “Taiwan’s democracy is a model for the Asia-Pacific region and the world,” said Manpreet Singh Anand, NDI’s regional director for the Asia-Pacific, in a statement.

“Through our new office, NDI will strengthen and expand partnerships with Taiwan’s civic tech community, legislature and government officials,” Anand continued. “We will support Taiwan’s efforts to share its democratic experiences to promote governance that is citizen-responsive, transparent, accountable and inclusive of all.”

Founded in 1983, NDI operates over a dozen offices in the Asia-Pacific region and more than 50 worldwide. It is dedicated to supporting and strengthening democratic institutions through citizen participation, openness, and government accountability, according to the organization.

Also based in Washington, the International Republican Institute will establish a permanent base in the Taiwanese capital to “work with our partners to highlight Taiwan’s hard-won democratic lessons, strengthen networks of Asia’s democratic actors and build resilience against malign authoritarian influence in the region,” according to a statement by IRI President Daniel Twining.

Taking note of the increasingly aggressive campaign by the Chinese Communist Party to violate the global rules-based order, Twining urged “all democracies — including the United States — to invest in strengthening ties with Taiwan.” He further stated that “IRI looks forward to working with the Taiwanese government, civil society and academia to bolster Taiwan’s democratic successes and share them with the world.”

Established in 1983, IRI has been committed to advancing democracy and freedom worldwide through workshops conducted by volunteer experts from all over the world, the organization stated on its website. The topics of discussions range from political systems to democratic governance practices and women's empowerment.