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General News    H3'ed 7/11/18

Taiwan Civil Government is open for business despite arrest and jailing of leaders

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The political fraud arrests of Roger and Julian Lin and five other leaders of Taiwan Civil Government in May dealt the group a staggering blow. TCG's war chest of $4.3 million was seized during the midnight raid leaving three members still in jail and the group low on cash. Sixty boxes of files and computers were also seized by police of the exiled Republic of China which controls Taiwan.

Structured as a shadow government, the organization has shown amazing resiliency in the face of adversity. Headquarters is still open and doing business which includes weekend training sessions for new cadres. The trainees are taught Taiwanese history and about the critical role of the United States in fostering the strategic ambiguity that clouds Taiwan's sovereignty. Seven decades of unresolved status have left most people confused about Taiwan's future and what to do about Chinese claims on the island known for centuries as Formosa.

Six state offices of TCG also remain open and serving members of the group which claims a membership of 70,000. Regular events and meetings go on around the island as members continue to conduct outreach activity. Two weeks after the arrests an eighteen member delegation of TCG visited Washington. While the group is putting on a strong show of stamina, the ROC raid and arrests have taken a toll.

In Taiwan, ROC prosecutors conducted an intensive investigation to uncover evidence of what has been billed as a financial crime based on political ideology. After hundreds of subpoenas and interrogations the prosecutors were able to flip 205 TCG supporters into victims. Rumors persist that the 110 complainants that prosecutors claim came forward initially were recruited by a political operative. The total number of complainants now stands at 315 and gives the prosecutors many witnesses to choose from. One woman, who declines to be identified, said she was hauled in for questioning four times. The TCG member said the first three interrogations were hostile and unfriendly. However, the fourth visit, when she was asked to become a victim, was much different. A steadfast TCG supporter, the woman was finally released after she declined to complain.

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Group response to the prosecutors' pressure has been to keep to the regular schedule and continue the recruiting campaigns for new members, although the two hundred reversals in the tight-knit organization spell trouble ahead for those who have been charged. TCG supporters claim prosecutorial duress was responsible for the new complainants.

In Washington, the aftershock of the arrests has led to silence and abandonment. Two Representatives canceled their appearance at a TCG sponsored Congressional Quarterly Roll Call Live show. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross was a drop out of a TCG sponsored Heritage Foundation event on trade. Heritage Foundation, which described itself as a "great partner" with Taiwan Civil Government has purged the event from its website and refuses to answer questions about its sponsor. POLITICO, Foreign Policy, Roll Call Live, and The McLaughlin Group all refuse to talk and fail to report on the arrests of sponsors Roger and Julian Lin. The Lins continue to be held in harsh pre-trial detention in an ROC jail, incommunicado, in solitary confinement and without bail.

 

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Michael Richardson is a freelance writer living in Belize. Richardson writes about Taiwan foreign policy, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Black Panther Party. Richardson was Ralph Nader's ballot access manager during the 2004 and (more...)
 

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