Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The charges are in

I always come away so re energized from my visits with Su Beng. It is always so inspiring and reaffirming to talk to this man who so steadfastly believes it is not a question of whether or not Taiwan will one day become an independent, normal country; it is a matter of when.

All legalese aside, Su Beng has told me that the Supreme Court has charged him on two counts.

First count- 50 days

On April 26th the taxi driver- who drove (Su Beng) right up beside Lien Chan's car on the expressway enroute to the airport- was arrested and held without bail. The following day, Su Beng led a motorcade of taxis in protest outside of the jail where his driver was held. He has been charged with serving 50 days in prison for continuing to protest after being given 3 warnings to stop. He will not be able to post bail in lieu of serving the 50 days.

Second count- 6 months

Su Beng has also been charged with serving 6 months in prison for setting off fireworks in the Taiwan Taoyuan Airport on April 26, 2005 during the mass protests of Lien Chan's trip to China.

Su Beng's assistant, Bin Hong has been charged with 8 months for her involvement in the activities at the Taiwan Taoyuan airport on April 26th.

Su Beng and Bin Hong may post bail for over NT$600,000 total- for both of their 6 month and 8 month charges respectively.

He is currently seeking legal advice on how to proceed with this.

Deciphering fact from fiction

Certainly those who have heard tall tales about Su Beng may wonder what is fact or fiction and here I will offer some points of clarification.

History buffs should be the first to note that Su Beng, who was born in 1918, would have only been about 16 years of age when the Long March began in October of 1934. So, no, he did not participate in the Long March, which was the yearlong military retreat of the Red Armies of the Communist Party of China as they attempted to dodge Kuomingtang forces.

On getting a vasectomy

Su Beng did indeed get a vasectomy before the age of thirty, while he was in Shanghai (1942-1945) working as an undercover agent for the Chinese Communists; his reasons for electing to get a vasectomy include some “colorful” and practical reasons. It was common practice for the Chinese Communists to pair up male and female undercover agents, thereby assigning them to live as a “married” couple. And so they did- live under the same roof and sleep in the same bed. Inevitably, some “couples” ended up consummating their relationship, and if this resulted in offspring, the agents were transferred away to remote areas, abandoned by the Chinese Communists and considered to no longer be of any use. Su Beng saw this and decided that he didn’t want to meet such demise. He had followed his Marxist, socialist ideals to come to China in order to resist Japanese imperialism; nothing was going to prevent his revolutionary purpose.

Was this a man who simply knew himself- that he was just human and that he would have these undeniable urges which he wouldn’t be able to control? Some might say he could have just used some self-control and restraint, but just how realistic is that view? Were there more noble reasons at work in Su Beng’s decision? Decisions like this are not always as simple as they seem.

The one person that Su Beng said he’d have to “answer to” for this life decision would be his grandmother- who raised him like a son. Su Beng's mother was an only child, so he was given his mother’s maiden name Shi (施)rather than his father’s surname Lin in order to continue the Shi lineage.

On being a Communist

Su Beng went to China (1942-1949) a socialist idealist; working for the Chinese Communists was a means to resist Japanese imperialism. He became disillusioned with communism as the hypocrisy and brutality of the Chinese Communists became apparent. He resisted and did not join the Communist party, he knew he'd have to devise a way to escape their clutches. It wouldn't be easy.

And there’s more…

There’s the woman who’s said to be the love of his life- a Japanese woman that Su Beng met in Beijing, who fled with him out of China (in 1949) and away from the grip of the Chinese Communists to Taiwan. After his involvement in a plot to assassinate Chiang Kai-shek, he fled from Taiwan by stowing away in a banana boat to Japan (in 1952). Later she reunited with him in Japan.

During the 40 years or so (from 1952-1993) that Su Beng lived in exile in Japan, he illegally entered Taiwan several times in order to continue his underground efforts to destabilize the KMT and promote Taiwan independence.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Just what ARE the charges?

Though the charges facing Su Beng and his assistant, Bin Hong were reported in the Chinese language Liberty Times newspaper today, Su Beng himself and his assistant have not yet received an official notice of the charges.

So the exact terms of the charges have yet to be confirmed; it is not clear how much bail may be posted in lieu of serving time or whether bail will be even be allowed to be posted.

No comments yet on how Su Beng or Bin Hong will proceed or whether Su Beng will post bail, or actually serve the time.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

This just in from The Liberty Times

Today The Liberty Times reported on the charges levied against Su Beng and his assistant Bin Hong for their involvement in protesting Lien Chan's trip to meet with Chinese Commmunist leaders on April 26, 2005.

On September 15, 2006 the Liberty Times newspaper reported that Su Beng had received a charge of serving 50 days in prison. It wasn’t clear just what the charge was for, but it was most likely related to Su Beng’s involvement in the events surrounding the April 26, 2005 protests of Lien Chan’s trip to China to meet with Communist China’s leaders. On that day, as Lien was departing from the Taiwan Taoyuan airport (then known as the Chiang Kai Shek airport) violence sparked between pan-blue and pan-green protestors at the airport.

And earlier that day, as Lien Chan's motorcade made its way to the airport from his residence, several taxis (under Su Beng's instructions) followed behind in hot pursuit. While on the expressway, one of the taxis, in which Su Beng was riding, drove right up to Lien Chan’s car window and Su Beng held out a note for him to read, which read “Don’t sellout Taiwan.” The driver of this taxi was soon arrested and put in jail without bail.

Su Beng and his people also went to the Taiwan Taoyuan airport that day to protest Lien Chan’s trip to China. They had fireworks in their possession, some of which were set off while they were there.

Here's a more detailed explanation behind the charge of 50 days: http://writingblock.blogspot.com/2006/09/anachronistic-assembly-and-parade-law.html

I've spoken to Bin Hong to get clarification on what exactly the charges are and for comment on how she and Su Beng are going to proceed. More details to come when they become available...