To members of Taiwan Civil Government, the year 2019 felt more like 1949 when White Terror era repression gripped Taiwan. On July 2, the ROC demolished a new headquarters building being constructed behind TCG headquarters located in Taoyuan State. Three weeks later, a ROC wrecking crew returned to tear down the main building to which TCG holds a lease valid until 2025.
Given short notice of the demolition orders TCG members raced to retrieve files, furniture and equipment from the doomed structure. The building was cited for an environmental violation involving hillside water drainage and supposedly demolished for that reason. What is going on in Taiwan?
Taiwan Civil Government was formed in 2008 with the express purpose of ridding Taiwan of the exiled Republic of China regime imposed on the island in 1945 after the end of World War II. The group seeks the help of the United States to expel the Chinese exiled government. The election of Donald Trump brought TCG access to the White House following millions of dollars lobbied in Washington.
TCG attracted the interest of presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Vice-President Mike Pence pressed the flesh with the group at a TCG sponsored luncheon in Washington.
Such high level Trump connections put the group on a collision course with the ROC government which earlier investigated TCG founder Roger Lin for treason and in 2018 brought political fraud charges against Lin and his wife Julian. Former Green Island political prisoner Tsai Tsai-yuan, second-in-command at TCG, was also charged with fraud for purportedly scamming group members with false claims about TCG identity cards.
Snagged in the ROC dragnet was Yu Hsiang-ching, the landlord of TCG and owner of the building under destruction. Yu was subjected to the same harsh five-month, incommunicado, pre-trial detention as Roger and Julian Lin. The jail ordeal broke the health of eighty year-old Yu and left him an easy target for a deal with prosecutors. Tsai was granted bail while the Lins were not. Apparently the spectacle of the ROC imprisoning a former White Terror prisoner was too much for prosecutors who granted Tsai a low bail.
A TCG spokesman picks up the report. “Yu finally surrendered himself to the prosecutor of the ROC for he was threatened and promised to be acquitted of all charges if he could kick out TCG. He then hooked up with the prosecutor to break up the rental agreement with TCG and reported to the Construction Management Office that the main building he rented out to TCG is illegal.”
As of yet the prosecutor has not honored a deal with Yu, who reportedly transferred ownership of the leased headquarters to his daughter who quickly agreed to the demolition. Much of the money paid by TCG members actually went to Yu for meals and lodging under terms of the lease. TCG received only a portion of training class fees for course materials. Yu did not receive any of the payments for identification cards.
Meanwhile, TCG continues to hold large meetings and conduct training sessions in rented space. Paraders continue to march despite extensive police surveillance, and the fraud case slowly grinds on in periodic court hearings from a witness or two at a time. Although prosecutors list multiple group members as scam victims, many TCG members listed deny being victims and say they voluntarily donated money and continue to support the aims and mission of Taiwan Civil Government.