The ongoing story of Taiwan Civil Government and the fraud arrests of its leaders is like peeling an onion. Each layer reveals another underneath. The recent report that the exiled Republic of China fraud investigation began on Sept. 22, 2017, when Julian Lin returned from a trip to the United States, is only accurate as to surveillance. The investigation was already underway when TCG purchased a full-page ad in the New York Times to highlight Lin’s visit to the United Nations building.
On August 2, 2017, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote to the American Institute on Taiwan inquiring about any official connection of Taiwan Civil Government and the United States. The AIT reply was sufficient to provide Taoyuan District prosecutors with probable cause to believe that fraud had occurred.
The early start date of the investigation, some four months before disgruntled TCG members came forward as complainants, raises questions about who ordered the probe and why. If prosecutors were already working on the case in July 2017, as seems likely based on the letter to AIT, then it was just weeks after a big TCG parade outside the Presidential Palace in Taipei.
The parade was a display of moxie and muscle and was replete with the Black Bear paramilitary squad, flashy color guards, and plenty of flags. Given the number of police that were involved in traffic control it is certain that the administration of Tsai Ing-wen was aware of Taiwan Civil Government’s desire to expel the ROC from Taiwan, the theme of the parade. Tsai has not made any public statement about the arrests of Roger and Julian Lin and others in May 2018 and remained silent about the incommunicado solitary confinement of the Lins.
The AIT response to prosecutors that TCG was not authorized by the United States could be a problem for Roger Lin, depending on what claims were made to disgruntled TCG members. However, there is one American agency that would not admit a link to TCG even if there was a connection, the Central Intelligence Agency.
Roger Lin has long hinted that he was backed by the CIA but always stopped short of giving details. Lin told Judge Yi-Shan Yao that he was visited last year by a mysterious American using an assumed identity. Purportedly the mystery man attended one of TCG’s weekly round table meetings. All the flag-waving and pro-American stance of the group is suggestive of a possible counterintelligence operation and TCG would certainly not be the first shadow government set up by the CIA.
However, proving the CIA helped establish TCG will be a task. If the CIA is involved, the spy agency might be content with leaving Roger Lin twisting in the wind rather than risk public exposure. If the CIA is not involved than Lin will be on his own defending accusations from unhappy TCG members.