Foreign Policy editor swaps business cards with Julian Lin since accused of political fraud in Taiwan
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Is Foreign Policy editor Jonathan Tepperman part of what Taiwan prosecutors call a political fraud ring? Making his own connection,Tepperman swapped business cards with Julian Lin of Taiwan Civil Government when he briefed her at a Foreign Policy think-tank luncheon sponsored by Lin's group last year. Lin was arrested on May 11 on a variety of fraud charges and has been held without bail, incommunicado and in solitary confinement since.
The allegation that TCG's goal of an independent Taiwan, established under the protection of a United States military government, is at the core of an alleged fraud ring using political ideology as the bait raises questions about what Tepperman told Lin. Tepperman ignores questions about TCG, raising suspicion and creating more questions. Foreign Policy, which prides itself on the scope of its news coverage, has gone silent, neither answering questions nor reporting on the arrests.
POLITICO likewise clammed up and offered no comment about TCG sponsored events, the Inauguration Hub and 2017 Playbook Powerlist reception. Roll Call Live postponed a Congressional panel discussion on the new Secretary of State after two Representatives canceled when informed of Roger and Julian Lin's arrests. Roll Call Live CEO Meg Hargreaves refused to name the two Representatives or discuss sponsor Taiwan Civil Government.
ROC prosecutors need to point to deception to make a case for political fraud. Taiwan's strategic ambiguity of unresolved international status creates much confusion about the future. TCG advocacy of a US role in the determination of sovereignty may not be popular with ROC prosecutors but is not a crime. TCG has spent considerable money lobbying in Washington, litigating two federal lawsuits, and sponsoring multiple media events in behalf of an independent Taiwan. Such advocacy does not suggest the work of fraudsters but instead that of those pursuing a political goal.
Tepperman's run for cover and refusal to discuss TCG advocacy and what he told Julian Lin puts him in the proverbial hot seat. Tepperman had better not plan any trips to Taiwan in the near future or he might find himself in a place he doesn't want to be. If ROC prosecutors try to extend their reach to Washington the Foreign Policy editor may get another opportunity to bite his tongue.
However, there is a less sinister role for Tepperman than masterminding a purported fraud ring. Foreign Policy may have scammed TCG into thinking they were buying influence with the news department while in reality being kept to the sales/events department staff. Only Tepperman can tell and he is not talking.