Justin Lin should be given chance to be prodigal son
The China Post news staffJustin Lin is a celebrity in China. He is a member of the National People's National Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, which met last week to formalize the election of Communist Party General-Secretary Xi Jinping as president of the People's Republic of China.
March 13, 2013, 12:15 am TWN
Lin used to be a senior vice president of the World Bank. He is also honorary director of the China Center for Economic Research at Peking University. In Taiwan, where he was born in 1952, he is a military deserter and a fugitive.
While attending the meetings of the two Chinese congresses, Lin took time out to call a press conference where he declared that he is a Taiwanese who wants only to return home to Yilan to sweep the tombs of his parents during the Qingming Festival. Known also as Tomb Sweeping Day, Qingming falls on April 4. In the week before and after the day, filial Chinese are expected to visit the tombs of their ancestors.
“By listening to me while I am speaking, you know I am a native of Taiwan,” Lin told Taiwanese reporters in Beijing. “And I wish to go back to Taiwan — after living long years abroad and as I'm getting old — just as a 'little son of Taiwan' to sweep the tombs of my deceased father and mother during the coming Qingming Festival.” Lin begged Minister of National Defense Kao Hua-chu to let him fulfill his humble wish.
Lin had to. For General Kao was his battalion commander on the offshore island of Quemoy when he deserted as a company commander, swimming across a narrow strip of water to Amoy and defecting to the People's Liberation Army on May 17, 1979. Now as the defense minister, Kao insists that the defector has to be brought to military justice if he ever sets foot on Taiwan. Lin is wanted for treason, and has to be court-martialed, according to Maj. Gen. Luo Shao-ho, spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense (MND).