Taiwan Civil Government is proving to be a resilient organization. While leader Roger Lin is facing fraud charges in Taiwan and with steep bail for his release from solitary confinement, the group should be a little short on cash. However, TCG has pressed forward with a new media campaign in Washington and also launched a new Chamber of Commerce chapter.
Although there is no formal connection between TCG and Taiwanese American Chamber of Commerce the advocacy group controls four of the five members of the TACC board. A TCG delegation was at the launch party and occupied a table at center stage. Neil Hare, TCG lobbyist and its registered Foreign Agent, is head of the new Chamber of Commerce chapter. Hare is a former Chamber of Commerce executive and has ways to put TCG money to work.
During the launch presentation Hare cited his relationship with Taiwan Civil Government as his qualification to form TACC. In discussing TCG Hare boasted the group has 60,000 members, a number he has repeated. However, in a Taoyuan District court the membership has been alleged to be around 35,000. The lower count is still quite impressive since many are also willing to don uniforms and donate money. Hare’s number creep may be merely a Washington publicist’s exaggeration but is significantly at odds with what TCG is saying in Taiwan. Since a critical element to the pending fraud case are false claims the membership discrepancy raises concern.
The only apparent connection with Taiwan by the new board is through TCG. Three of the five board members are from Global Vision Communications, Neil Hare’s public relations firm. TCG has pumped over a million dollars into GVC for professional services in the last two years.
A Global Vision Communication pay-roller on the TACC board is Shelley Hymes, who has been the recipient of six-figure consulting fees from Taiwan Civil Government. Hymes and Hare both accompanied a TCG delegation to Zurich, Switzerland in January 2018, where they met with the Switzerland-American Chamber of Commerce.
Richard Brogan, on the GVC Advisory Board, has no obvious ties to Taiwan. Brogan, a former beer and cigarette industry executive, according to his official bio, had “significant partners in the People’s Republic of China.” Brogan has not disclosed who his significant partners in the PRC are but given the Chinese threat to invade Taiwan he could prove to be a liability to TACC.
The fourth TACC board member connected with TCG is William Tseng, chief of the visiting delegation. Tseng holds the title of Minister of Energy in TCG’s shadow government and is an experienced international trader. Tseng earlier attended the United States Chamber of Commerce “Global Supply Chain Summit” conference and was part of the Zurich junket.
The fifth TACC board member, David Bolger, has his own firm called Executive Briefing. Bolger’s TACC bio states he “assists clients in the national security, defense, intelligence community” with “crisis management programs.” As the prosecution of Roger Lin by the Republic of China in-exile looks a lot like persecution, given the harsh pre-trial detention imposed on Lin and others, Bolger may get to put his crisis management skills to use. Bolger’s bio lists no connections with Taiwan.
How to pay for the new Chamber of Commerce chapter? TACC charges corporations a hefty $10,000 application fee. Individuals may join for $1,000 each. The fraud charges in Taiwan are sure to keep any co-mingling of funds between TCG and TACC from occurring.
The establishment of a new Chamber of Commerce chapter serves several purposes. One, it is a new honey pot or source of revenue. Two, TACC gives TCG a new doorway to Washington. Three, it is a potential rival to the Taiwan-American Chamber of Commerce chapter in Taipei, which is controlled by the ROC which TCG seeks to expel.
Roger Lin has been seeking White House support for TCG and has made inroads with presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway. Now Lin is seeking support for his cause from the business community. Each step forward in Washington gives Lin a stronger footing to fight his fraud charges in Taiwan where he is accused of tricking TCG members with false claims into making donations.
In the mixed up world of Taiwan, where sovereignty has been undetermined since World War II, the exiled Republic of China is locked in a showdown with Roger Lin in criminal court. Lin needs to show his efforts to oust the ROC were not fictitious. The Taiwanese American Chamber of Commerce may be the latest chapter in the ongoing crime story.