The arrests in Taiwan last month of Taiwan Civil Government leaders for alleged political fraud has opened a door on an intensive effort by the organization to promote themselves as the go-to group for information about Taiwan. The now controversial TCG was less so in January 2017, when the invitation to attend Donald Trump's inauguration was sent out. A delegation flew in from Taipei headed by Julian Lin, wife of TCG founder Roger Lin.
Both Julian and Roger Lin are currently doing hard time in solitary confinement, held without bail, and incommunicado without visitors. Prosecutors of the exiled Republic of China, opposed by TCG, are now examining sixty boxes of files and computers seized from TCG on May 10 in a midnight raid. The Lins and five others are accused of conducting a financial scam based on political ideology.
While the TCG delegation was in Washington to celebrate Trump's presidency they sponsored POLITICO's Inauguration Hub, a drop-in site for the movers and shakers described as a "networking lounge." In May 2017, at the POLITICO Powerlist reception, also sponsored by TCG, Julian Lin said it was time for a new relationship with Taiwan under the new Trump Administration.
Taiwan's longstanding unresolved international status since the end of World War II has left the exiled Republic of China government, installed by the United States as a caretaker regime, conflicted and confused about the island's future. The official policy of the United States is to maintain the "strategic ambiguity" and oppose independence in the face of the People's Republic of China's claims on the island.
A growing assortment of Taiwanese independence groups are gaining in strength but few can equal the effort and funding that Taiwan Civil Government has put forth. However, the TCG goal is not immediate independence but instead a US expulsion of the ROC and installation of a transitional government until a referendum, free of ROC control, can be held.
TCG was in structure a government in-waiting. Should future events bring the United States military into Taiwan for whatever reason, the group's intention was to be first in line when Army civil affairs officers looked for an interim government. Although the notion seems unlikely, the pro-American slant of the group may have developed enough pull at the Trump White House to keep the vision alive.
The fraud arrests and ongoing investigation by ROC prosecutors have sealed lips in Washington and Taiwan. If ever a political story required reading between the lines, it is the curious tale of Taiwan Civil Government.