Taiwan military reiterates it will not lift order to arrest defector Justin Lin

The China Post

By Joseph Yeh–Taiwan’s military yesterday reiterated its long-held stance that it would not lift the arrest order on Justin Lin (林毅夫), a Taiwanese national who defected to China more than 30 years ago, after Chinese authorities’ urged Taiwan to allow the renowned economist to come home on humanitarian grounds. Military spokesman Luo Shou-he said that Lin is still wanted by a military court for his defection, which violated the Criminal Code of the Armed Forces.

“It has always been our stance that he (Lin) should be immediately arrested if he comes back to Taiwan,” Luo said. There is “no grey area” on the issue as Lin’s defection was a serious violation of loyalty to his country — one of the core values for any military personnel, he added.

Luo made the comments in response to a remark made by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Director Wang Yi (王毅) earlier yesterday who urged Taiwanese authorities to make a positive response to Lin’s wife wish for her whole family to embark a homecoming trip to Taiwan. Speaking at a press conference yesterday morning in Beijing, Wang said Taiwanese officials should consider allowing Lin’s family to return to Taiwan to visit their relatives and pay respect to their ancestors on “humanitarian and compassionate grounds.” During previous interviews in China, Lin’s wife Chen Yun-ing (陳雲英), who still holds Taiwanese nationality, had expressed the wish to Taiwan. Chen’s urge reportedly received support from Minister Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), Taiwan’s top government agency responsible for mainland policy. However, the MND has repeatedly reaffirmed its stance that it will not lift the arrest order and Lin will face legal consequences once he returns.

On May 16, 1979, Lin, then a Taiwanese Army captain stationed on the outlying frontline island Kinmen, swam across the Strait and reached the mainland.

Lin later studied economics at Peking University before becoming a world-renowned economist. He was appointed to be the senior vice president of the World Bank in 2008.