The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) will formally reopen tomorrow, Saturday.
After closing its doors for three years, Taiwan’s foreign ministry decided to reopen the representative office on Guam due to the growing partnership between Taiwan and the U.S., the strategic importance of Guam and the Pacific region to Taiwan, and increases in the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ budget since 2018.
TECO Director General Paul Chen, the head of the representative office, spoke with PNC, emphasizing the significance of the reopening of the office on Guam.
“Guam is always very important to Taiwan. Before COVID, there were around 30,000 tourists annually to Guam. That is part of my job … to provide protection and services to our Taiwanese citizens, but also to provide economic, trade, and culture exchange,” Chen said.
He added: “More important is the U.S. Indo Pacific pact. Guam plays such an important role in this region. From Guam — to any country or island — is about 4 hours. It is in the heart of the West Pacific and no one can ignore that.”
The TECO in Guam was closed in August 2017 due to budget constraints and manpower considerations, with its functions temporarily taken over by Taiwan’s embassy in Palau.
The date of the opening has a special significance in Taiwan’s history. October 10 — or “Double Ten” — commemorates the start of the Wuchang Uprising of October 1911, which led to the end of the Qing Dynasty in China and the establishment of the Republic of China on January 1, 1912.