Justin Yifu Lin. (File photo/Xinhua)
Former World Bank vice president Justin Yifu Lin, who defected from Taiwan more than 30 years ago, may become one of China's leaders in the near future, our sister Chinese-language newspaper Want Daily reported on Sept. 15.
The newspaper quoted an anonymous source which said Lin may become chairman of China's business and industry association after the Communist Party's upcoming 18th National Congress. He may then become the vice chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference next March, one of the country's two legislatures, the newspaper reported.
Lin is now a professor at Peking University after he left the World Bank in June.
Huo Teh-ming, also a professor at Peking University, formerly taught at National Chengchi University in Taipei, told Want Daily that there is no way to confirm Lin's future position at the moment but he is quite sure that Lin's teaching position at the university will remain unchanged no matter what his next move will be. "He only took the teaching position after June. I think he will continue his teaching career here," Huo said.
Want Daily noted that by law, Lin would have to leave Peking University if appointed to a higher position as China's national leaders cannot teach due to safety concerns.
In 1976, Lin entered the MBA program at National Chengchi University on a defense scholarship and returned to the army upon receiving his degree in 1978. As a captain, he defected to China on May 17, 1979 from Taiwan's outlying island of Kinmen to Xiamen on the Chinese mainland. Lin left his pregnant wife and their three-year-old child in Taiwan.
A year later, Taiwan's military declared him "missing" and his wife claimed the equivalent of US$31,000 from the government. His wife and their children joined him several years later when they both went to study in the United States.
The ROC military issued an order for his arrest on charges of desertion in 2000 and would be arrested if he attempted to return to Taiwan.
Justin Lin 林毅夫
Huo Teh-ming 霍德明