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General News    H3'ed 6/4/18

Commerce Secretary absent at Heritage Foundation event sponsored by Taiwan Civil Government

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Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross abruptly dropped out of a TCG sponsored Heritage Foundation event
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross abruptly dropped out of a TCG sponsored Heritage Foundation event
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On May 23 Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross skipped out of a Heritage Foundation event sponsored by Taiwan Civil Government. Ross was to talk about trade between the People's Republic of China and the United States along with other topics. Ross dropped out just minutes before the morning event leaving the moderator to speculate there must have been a schedule conflict. More likely, Ross was tipped off the leadership of Taiwan Civil Government had been arrested for political fraud by the exiled Republic of China.

The arrests of Roger and Julian Lin and others in Taiwan last month did cause the cancellation of a TCG sponsored Roll Call Live event the same day featuring two Congressmen. Roll Call Live CEO Meg Hargeaves refuses to name the two Representatives although it is likely one was a Democrat and the other a Republican.

The Heritage Foundation did go ahead with its event despite the sudden absence of Secretary Ross. Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia both took turns on a stage backdropped with the TCG sponsor's logo.

The reach of Roger Lin, founder of TCG, now held without bail, incommunicado and in solitary confinement, all the way to the Trump White House to snag a Cabinet member for an event is remarkable. The high-level access suggests that Lin had developed a sophisticated lobbying operation. Although Lin and his wife Julian are accused of swindling supporters with bogus claims about the status and future of Taiwan the group had been spending considerable sums of money to depose the ruling ROC government.

Taiwan's status, often described as a strategic ambiguity, has been unresolved for seven decades since the end of World War II when the United States installed the Republic of China as a caretaker regime. In a federal lawsuit Roger Lin v. United States over access to passports, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia called the people of Taiwan stateless and living in "political purgatory."

ROC prosecutors are attempting to portray the TCG as a kooky group with crackpot theories and false claims of US support. However, the money spent by Lin in Washington on litigation and lobbying has bought a level of respectability and recognition enjoyed by few Taiwanese advocacy groups. The alleged bogus claims of the group are actually tight legal arguments about America's responsibility for Taiwan's lack of international recognition. The seemingly over-the-top activities of the group with its own flag, paramilitary group, identification cards and vanity license plates, parades, rallies and training events more resemble a government in-waiting than an elaborate hoax.

Roger Lin and his TCG group have long been dogged with rumors of a connection to the Central Intelligence Agency, rumors Lin would not deny or confirm. The pro-American slant of the group adds to the speculations. If Taiwan Civil Government has any more Cabinet level sponsored events in the pipeline perhaps Lin could get the Director of the CIA as a back-up in case Secretary Ross cancels again.

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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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