After closing its doors for three years, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) formally reopened on Saturday.
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.
As the two governments emphasized the strengthening of bilateral economic, trade, and cultural relations, Taiwan officials also reaffirmed their commitment to stand with Guam in its fight against COVID-19.
During the opening ceremony, Taiwan officials announced that they are donating four thermal scanners to GMH, GRMC, the Guam Legislature, and the governor’s office.
They are also donating 900 pandemic preparedness kits to GovGuam. So far, GRMC has already received the thermal scanner, the others will be delivered this week.
Dr. Jaushieh Joseph Wu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan), said: “In June, Taiwan donated 200,000 surgical masks to the Government of Guam for the protection of the frontline medical personnel and I’m pleased to announce that our ministry will donate four Made-in-Taiwan body temperature scanners apiece to the government and parliament of Guam as well as the Guan Memorial Hospital and Guam Regional Medical City.”
Wu added: “On this auspicious occasion, I hope this small gesture demonstrates that Taiwan stands with Guam in the fight against COVID-19.”
GovGuam officials also thanked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials and the Taiwan Government for their donation.
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said in her message: “Taiwan remains one of the few successes in the global pandemic and we commend you for what you were able to accomplish.”
For his part, Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio said: “We hope that this office can help facilitate stronger ties to Taiwan and our region.”
Taiwan officials said that before the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 30,000 people from Taiwan travel to Guam each year, making Taiwan Guam’s third-largest source of tourists and in recent years, increasing numbers of people from Guam have traveled to Taiwan for medical treatment.
Paul Chen, TECO director-general, said: “Though the operation of the office was temporarily suspended in 2017, the meaningful exchange between our two sides never stopped.”