Vice President Mike Pence was the keynote speaker at the 2017 Latino Coalition Policy Summit in Washington. A thirty-four member delegation from Taiwan Civil Government was seated at the conference. TCG claims on its website the gathering was one of its sponsored events.
" In March the Taiwan Civil Government sponsored the Latino Coalition 2017 Policy Summit in Washington, DC. Attendees enjoyed the opportunity to hear from Washington leaders and successful entrepreneurs, network with business leaders from across the country, and learn how to make a big impact for small businesses across the globe."
The Latino Coalition does not list TCG as a principal sponsor, however it could be one of eighty undisclosed "advocacy groups" that also chipped in for the summit. The non-disclosure of sponsor information is not uncommon, especially if TCG is involved. The Heritage Foundation doesn't want to talk about its "great partner" nor does Foreign Policy magazine, nor POLITICO, nor Congressional Quarterly's Roll Call Live show, nor The McLaughlin Group program. TCG's own lobbyist, Neil Hare, has likewise gone silent about how much money TCG was spending. Latino Coalition sponsorship is just one more unanswered question surrounding the controversial advocacy group.
Vice President Pence most likely had not yet heard of Taiwan Civil Government nor was aware of any partial sponsorship from the group. The new Administration had not long been in office and TCG was still ramping up its Washington spending. As a former governor, Pence was not well versed in Taiwanese history and the legal battle that TCG was waging in Washington to undo seven decades of strategic ambiguity surrounding Taiwan status.
The unresolved status of Taiwan for so long has made almost everyone confused about the island's sovereignty and name. Is it Formosa or Taiwan, or Republic of China, or Chinese Taipei? The United States role in the matter is defined by the San Francisco Peace Treaty and the Taiwan Relations Act. Congress also recently passed unanimously the Taiwan Travel Act in response to saber-rattling by the People's Republic of China. TCG doctrine is that the United States should go further and expel the ROC and install a military government to protect the island from China until a Taiwanese government can be established.
Sending a large TCG delegation to a Latino conference seems a little far afield although that did allow the group to expand its influence beyond the Asian sphere and build its experience participating in high profile political events in America.
The political fraud arrests of TCG leaders Roger and Julian Lin and others in May by prosecutors of the exiled Republic of China have dealt the group a heavy blow. Future attendance at Latino Coalition events will now have to be weighed against the expenses of a legal defense team. Meanwhile, Roger and Julian Lin are being held incommunicado, without bail, in solitary confinement.