Subnational is one of the four levels of relationship between China and America (individual, subnational, national, and civilizational). The subnational level comprises relationships created between organized entities that lack national sovereignty yet exhibit strength, organization and long-term vision. They outperform relationships at the individual level. This level of relationship involves the work of states, provinces, cities, universities, businesses, non-profits, and similar entities.
The Tai Initiative sees the subnational level as full of examples of constructive, mutually beneficial, cooperative (even trusting!) behaviors between Chinese and American subnational entities. The behaviors of subnational leaders in both countries distinguish these positive examples from the negative ones. Therefore we focus our work on the development, encouragement, and study of leadership skills and character traits among subnational leaders in America and China, encouraging the application of best practices.