The Republic of China in-exile government currently controlling Taiwan has been waging a ferocious campaign against a pro-American advocacy group, Taiwan Civil Government, which seeks United States assistance to rid the island of the imposed Chinese regime. The group leaders were arrested on fraud charges in May 2018 and held incommunicado for five months. Frequent parades by the beleaguered organization are closely monitored and group members have been put under surveillance by police. Now a new TCG headquarters building has been destroyed for a purported conservation law violation.
On July 2, 2019, a dozen policemen and a heavy excavator showed up at the construction site adjoining a the TCG headquarters parking lot and helicopter landing port. The new multi-story metal building exterior work was completed but interior construction and electrical wiring had not begun. Despite vigorous protests from TCG members the police allowed the excavator to tear down the new structure.
While the sudden demolition recalls the persecution of the White Terror era, the official explanation is that the building was in violation of a conservation law on hillside use and that a retaining way disrupted water flow down the hill. While the building, built on level ground alongside an existing parking lot, may have been improperly sited in the mixed use area surrounded by farms and industrial sites, the urgency and presence of police signals the political intent of the demolition. Typically zoning and environmental disputes are slow-moving affairs and are subject to innumerable hearings, meetings, and other proceedings before action is taken.
Two weeks later the Kaohsiung State chapter of TCG held a meeting attended by over 1,000 group members at the Grand Hotel Kaohsuing to discuss the action against the group by ROC authorities. A group spokesman summarized the members’ sentiment.
“Taiwan Civil Government and its spirit can never ever be destroyed by the evil exile administration. I believe we definitely will make it no matter how much difficulties we are facing. The native Taiwanese have been maltreated and cheated by ROC since the end of Pacific war when Japan was defeated by the USA in the August of 1945.”
Roger Lin, the TCG founder, has been closely watched by ROC investigators ever since he brought litigation in United States a decade ago to obtain American passports for Taiwanese. Although Lin did not succeed in obtaining the passports his efforts led to the formation of Taiwan Civil Government which now boasts a membership of 70,000.
Since the TCG mission is to expel the ROC from Taiwan the group has long been at odds with the exiled Chinese government. The fraud arrests, parade harassment, and demolition of the new headquarters are seen by TCG members as a fight for Taiwan’s future and have instilled in the group a patriotic fervor that keeps the donations rolling in and assures willing marchers in the frequent parades. The ROC can tear down a building but thus far has failed to kill the revolutionary spirit that drives TCG members.