The May 11 arrest of Roger Lin and his wife Julian in Taiwan for fraud is causing jitters in Washington, DC media circles. Roger Lin (also known as Lin Zhisheng) heads the organization Taiwan Civil Government which has been pumping money to influential media houses financing events, conferences, and dinners at swanky restaurants.
The Congressional Quarterly's popular Roll Call Live video show scheduled for May 23 was canceled since the arrests. The show was to feature a Congressional panel discussion entitled Reshaping the State Department, A Fresh Start with East Asia. The show was paid for by "underwriting sponsor" Taiwan Civil Government.
Roll Call CEO Meg Hargreaves explained the cancellation of the show, "This is due to the fact that two Members of Congress scheduled to appear at the event withdrew from the program." Hargreaves declined to name the two Members of Congress who got cold feet.
On a prior Roll Call Live show following the 2016 Congressional elections, sponsored by Taiwan Civil Government, Julian Lin (also known as Lin Chih-an) took to the Roll Call podium and welcomed attendees.
Taiwan Civil Government is a pro-United States advocacy group for Taiwanese independence. Lin's group is so ready for freedom from occupation by the exiled Republic of China that TCG is a government in-waiting. The group issues ID cards, vanity license plates, has a paramilitary Black Bear Squad, its own flag, wealthy donors who have purportedly bought governorships, and has been spending money buying influence in Washington.
Taiwan's unresolved international status of "strategic ambiguity" has allowed a wide spectrum of opinion on how to build a country and TCG recognized the US role in combat with Japan left America as the chief occupying power when World War II was ended by the San Francisco Peace Treaty. The ruling exiled Republic of China was installed as a caretaker government by the US after the war and never left the island following defeat in 1949 by the People's Republic of China.
Seven decades of ambiguity have left almost everyone confused. Elders still talk about Formosa, the youth speak of Taiwan, politicians push the Republic of China, and groups like the International Olympics Committee demand Chinese Taipei. TCG advocates for the United States to resolve Taiwan's status and is pushing for a role in the process by following the US military civil affairs manual on nation-building and making powerful friends in the news media.
Republic of China in-exile authorities resist Roger Lin's advocacy, maintaining it offers false promises and is a financial scam based on political ideology. Lin's group was severely fractured several years ago with top leaders quitting over complaints about money. For years Lin cultivated the rumor that he was funded by the Central Intelligence Agency, an idea perhaps not so far-fetched. The CIA's dirty work in Asia out of Taiwan for a half-century has left the island awash with secret funds that have long been a staple of Taiwanese politics.