President Ma Addresses UPF Conference in Taipei

Conference held at same place and time as WACL event

The Taiwan News reports from this weekend’s International Leadership Conference held at the Grand Hotel in Taipei, where Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou addressed “more than 100 religious, political and academic representatives from 16 Asian countries and 300 local delegates” on the need for closer relations with China:

The 2009 International Leadership Conference is jointly sponsored by several nongovernmental organizations, including the Women’s Federation for World Peace, Taiwan, R.O.C., and the Universal Peace Federation, with an aim to provide a platform for countries to exchange views and discuss solutions to major issues.

The “Women’s Federation for World Peace” and the UPF are of course actually the same thing – fronts that exist to promote the religious message of Rev Sun Myung Moon.

Apparently there was some dissent at the meeting, as the Taipei Times reports:

Reverend William Luo, a pro-independence advocate who attended the conference, shouted: “No Justice” at Ma during his speech. Ma ignored the remarks and continued his speech.

Lou helps to run the Taiwan United Nations Alliance, which lobbies for Taiwan to drop its official “Republic of China” name and declare complete indepedence from mainland China; other Taiwanese Presbyterians are also active in this cause.

By happy coincidence (or maybe something more?), the conference was held at the same location and at the same time as the 2009 convention of the World League for Freedom and Democracy (WLFD), where President Ma also spoke. The WLFD carries a certain amount of baggage, and it was previously known as the World Anti-Communist League. WACL was founded in 1966 to bolster support for anti-Communist military rule in Taiwan and South Korea, and it soon attracted all kinds of far-right regimes and chancers looking for respectability on “anti-Communist” grounds. Rev Moon was associated with WACL for a while, and although he broke public links in 1975 (perhaps after failing to take it over), the Japan branch of the Unifcation Church remained a member and several Moon-linked persons were at the 1984 WACL conference in San Diego. The 1980s also saw WACL work with Moon’s CAUSA International in Central America on issues such as assisting the Contras (1).

***

(1) Details in last paragraph taken from Scott Anderson and John Lee Anderson, Inside the League: The Shocking Expose of How Terrorists, Nazis, and Latin American Death Squads Have Infiltrated the World Anti-Communist League (1986).

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