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General News    H3'ed 5/29/18

Video of POLITICO event reveals advocacy for Taiwanese independence not scam

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POLITICO's silence on the arrest of Roger and Julian Lin, sponsors of the 2017 Playbook Powerlist reception in May 2017 has raised questions about what Julian Lin said from the POLITICO podium.

Lin is unable to answer questions as she is being held incommunicado in solitary confinement after being arrested on charges for political fraud. However, a video of the event reveals no suggestion of a scam and instead is a plea for Taiwanese sovereignty. Lin said that Taiwan Civil Government was "honored" to sponsor the POLITICO event. Referring to the Trump administration, Lin said Taiwan needs a new part in a new Washington. Lin called Taiwan a true ally of the United States and cited its robust economy. However, "Taiwan is not a recognized country."

Lin complained the island's populace has not had a chance to determine their own nationality. Lin said Taiwan was in "political purgatory" quoting the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Lin also objected to the imposed use of the name Chinese Taipei. Lin said Taiwan deserved its place in the international community with normal legal status.

Julian Lin made no attempt to sell anything, made no promises, did not ask for donations, but instead stuck to her agenda for independence of Taiwan and admission to the United Nations. Republic of China prosecutors, eager to lock the Lins up, had better come up with some sort of deception better than the remarks at the Powerlist reception because Julian Lin's advocacy for Taiwan was straightforward.

POLITICO won't answer any questions even to say why there is no comment from a news organization that prides itself on being authoritative and comprehensive. Julian Lin has not yet been given a chance to tell her side of the story. Being held without bail, the punishment for Roger and Julian Lin has begun, even if they are not guilty. The prosecution, conviction, and incarceration of former ROC President Chen Shui-bian revealed serious democracy flaws with the court system on the island. Chen's controversial trial used perjured testimony, was conducted during midnight sessions, included courtroom heckling of Chen by observers, lacked a jury, and switched judges contrary to procedure.

A fair trial for the Lins is no sure thing from the ROC that imposed four decades of martial law until the mid-1980s and has imprisoned and executed political prisoners in the past. If it is a crime in Taiwan to advocate for independence then Julian Lin is guilty. However, if freedom of speech means you can advocate for nationality without arrest, then POLITICO should be paying attention to what has happened to its sponsor.

(Article changed on May 29, 2018 at 13:00)

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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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