Guangdong has taken the unusual step of setting up a 'think-tank' to advise the Chinese leadership on major policies. The group was formally set up yesterday in Guangzhou, and a ceremony was held to mark its inauguration. Core members of the think-tank - the Guangdong Province Policy Science Research Association - apparently come from the existing research offices under Guangdong's Communist Party and the provincial Government. Researchers from the Guangdong Province Social and Economic Development Research Centre are also members of the group. According to the China News Service, the think-tank will provide the leadership with 'research and analysis in the drafting of major policies'. Speaking at the ceremony, Deputy Party Secretary Huang Huahua said the establishment of the association heralded a 'new era' in the provincial leadership's policy-making process, and was an encouraging move in the development of democracy in the province. Although the two research offices and the academy's research centre are already advisory bodies to the authorities, this is the first time the three have formed a united office.