Working to turn an American news media whiteout on a developing international crime story, a six member delegation of Taiwan Civil Government visited the studio of Washington’s top rated radio news station WTOP in early November.
The visit was part of a media campaign to combat fraud charges brought by prosecutors of the exiled Republic of China against TCG founder Roger Lin and others. Photos of the radio station tour show the delegation was welcomed however no one is pictured being interviewed. It is not clear if the tour was one that a local girl scout troop could have arranged or was something more sophisticated for a potential sponsor or news maker.
A TCG website boasts of support from the radio station which purportedly advocated solidarity with Taiwan Civil Government’s call for normalization of Taiwan’s international status and an end to the “political persecution” of Roger and Julian Lin.
It will not be known until the group’s lobbyist Neil Hare files a semi-annual disclosure statement with the Department of Justice whether or not TCG is underwriting the radio station. The delegation also visited Roll Call Live during its Washington visit for a special program sponsored by TCG on the mid-term election outcome.
The WTOP visit is one of a number of media outlets that have welcomed a TCG delegation including POLITICO, Foreign Policy, Roll Call Live, the McLaughlin Group, and the Heritage Foundation. Curiously, the media visits and paid advertising to the New York Times and Washington Examiner have not translated into news coverage of the ongoing political fraud case in Taiwan.
Roger Lin and others are accused of using Taiwan’s unresolved international status to scam members of Taiwan Civil Government into making donations with alleged false claims of United States support. The staunchly pro-American group has been seeking favor from Donald Trump ever since his 2016 election. Unknown to many, TCG has made significant inroads into Washington’s power elite.
In May 2017, lobbyist Hare arranged a private chat session between Julian Lin, wife of Roger, and presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway. The May 2018 arrests of Roger and Julian thwarted a scheduled TCG delegation meeting with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and also a reception with two unnamed Representatives. The delegation was able to meet with Senators Joe Manchin [D] and Ben Sasse [R]. Most recently, Senator David Perdue [R] shared the stage talking about Taiwan with Neil Hare at a Washington Examiner event.
Although the Lins may have been skimming and pocketing donations, as yet no evidence has been provided. However, the claim that Roger Lin is the mastermind of a sophisticated swindle with a bogus “government” to entice donors misses the mark. Taiwan Civil Government is a government in-waiting.
Using Taiwan’s seven decade-old “strategic ambiguity” Lin has founded a 35,000 member organization that donates money, wears uniforms, has their own flag, and orchestrates parades. TCG is regarded by the Department of Justice as a foreign entity under the Foreign Agent Registration Act. Lin has noted that the United States does not recognize the Republic of China in-exile as anything other than a governing authority. Lin’s theory is since Taiwan is unrecognized there is room for TCG under the protection of the Taiwan Relations Act to seek sovereignty.
To prove that Taiwan Civil Government’s goals are fraudulent may not be so easy. To be sure, the TCG plan is ambitious, even grandiose. Although in the upside-down world of “Taiwan-Formosa-Republic of China-Chinese Taipei” where the status quo keeps the island out of the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and Interpol while the People’s Republic of China threatens invasion, anything could happen.
Roger Lin’s chance of being the leader of a future Taiwan nation is not likely, but Lin’s ambition and effort is a legitimate political expression. ROC prosecutors who do not agree with Lin’s goal of expelling the exiled Chinese government from Taiwan could have a hard time converting that ideal into a crime.