Taiwan set to open representative office on Guam

The Guam, Taiwan, and US flags are shown together signifying the closer relations between Taiwan and Guam and the US. (PNC file photo)

Taiwan is all set to open its representative office on Guam, according to the Guam Visitors Bureau.

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO), located in the ITC building in Tamuning, is scheduled to open on Saturday, Oct. 10.

The date has a special significance in Taiwan’s history. October 10 — or “Double Ten” — commemorates the start of the Wuchang Uprising of 10 October 1911 (10-10 or double ten), which led to the end of the Qing Dynasty in China and the establishment of the Republic of China on January 1, 1912.

Paul Chen, the head of the representative office, already arrived on Guam and has been presenting himself and his credentials to various island officials.

The Taiwan office is euphemistically called a “representative office” and not a consulate or embassy because the United States has no formal diplomatic relations with the country.

However, the U.S. has very close economic, cultural, and political ties with the Republic of China, Taiwan’s official name. Taiwan is also represented by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the mainland United States.

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.

However, 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 the Pacific region to Taiwan, and increases in the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ budget since 2018.