The organization Taiwan Civil Government, ignored by the news media, was included in a new Taiwan political history book. The new book, Taiwan: The Struggle Gains Focus, is Jerome Keating’s fifth book on Taiwanese history. The book picks up where Keating’s other books ended and covers the Republic of China in-exile administrations of Ma Ying-jeou and Tsai Ing-wen. Keating’s showpiece book is The Mapping of Taiwan, a collection of historical maps of the island.
Keating is an American living in Taipei where he made his home many years ago after accepting an engineering assignment during construction of the subway system. Keating has been an independent voice in Taiwanese politics and is a frequent contributor to the Taipei Times. Keating did not like Ma but does like Tsai although he well knows the job of a historian is to keep one’s bias out of the story. Keating continues to see China as Taiwan’s biggest threat as the island tries to find its way to national identity.
Keating provides a summary of TCG in his book, giving readers just a peek at the controversial group.
“There is a group in Taiwan that challenges the ambiguity of the San Francisco Peace Treaty; that group is the Taiwan Civil Government. Formed by the now deceased Roger C. S. Lin, this group has brought cases before the US Supreme Court to legitimize the fact that Taiwan citizens are still under the jurisdiction of the US Military Government. At issue is how the SFPT never stipulated a recipient to whom Japan would surrender its colony of Taiwan.”
“The US Supreme Court heard the cases but did not rule on them; it stated that the issues were more political than legal.”
“The TCG is under investigation by the Taiwan (ROC) government for defrauding citizens with its claim to represent their interests. These cases are pending.”
“I have visited the TCG headquarters and training area which have since been destroyed by the Taiwan government and likewise met with Roger Lin a week before his death. The group is now split in its leadership since that death, but in my experience the rank and file are people who are dedicated Taiwanese.”
“Whether the Taiwan government can prove fraud remains to be seen. However what lies behind this whole issue is the unresolved matter of the SFPT. It is a chicken that still needs to come home to roost and all those involved, the United States, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan (Republic of China) etc. remain reluctant to face it squarely and sort it out.”
“In my past discussions with the TCG group, they desired a status of Taiwan vis-à-vis the US as that of Canada to the United Kingdom. What will come of this? It remains a hot potato that most don’t want to touch; they wish it would go away.”
Keating is a little off on the litigation, the Supreme Court did not hear the Lin cases on their merits but instead allowed lower decisions to stand, however he is correct the San Francisco Peace Treaty raises issues no one wants to talk about.
Roger Lin, before his death, was charged with cheating his group members with false claims about the United States. Lin’s widow, Julian Lin, remains charged with fraud as does her current rival Tsai Tsai-yuan, who split with Julian after Roger’s death.
Taiwan Civil Government struggles along, split in two factions, each trying to hold on to a dwindling membership base. The split and Roger Lin’s death have done more to break the TCG than two years of investigation, trial, and property destruction by the ROC. Keating’s book does not explore the behind-the-scenes story of the TCG fraud case, it may be interesting to see exactly what role Tsai Ing-wen has played in the ongoing political fraud case.
Excerpts from Taiwan: The Struggle Gains Focus are courtesy of author Jerome Keating who was the last journalist to interview Roger Lin before his death. Further information about the book is available from the publisher SMCBook.