Taiwan’s representative office in the US will hold a formal cocktail reception at its Twin Oaks Estate for the first time in 32 years to celebrate the Republic of China’s (ROC) centennial.
The Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, which represents the interests of Taiwan in the US, will invite up to 4,000 guests, including members of the US Congress, to the party on Oct. 5.
Twin Oaks Estate housed the ROC’s ambassadors from 1937 to 1978, before the US shifted diplomatic recognition from the ROC to the People’s Republic of China in 1979. Since then, the representative office has been holding Double Ten National Day celebrations at hotels in Washington, while the Twin Oaks Estate has been reserved mainly for cultural activities.
Taiwan’s Deputy Representative to the US Leo Lee (李澄然) said his office has been in close contact with the US government in preparation for the party and there is a “high possibility” that Twin Oaks would continue to be used for future Double Ten National Day celebrations. The 26-room mansion and lawns on the 7.3 hectare property will be opened for the reception, which will revolve around cultural themes.
Musou Band, a traditional Chinese music ensemble from Taiwan, will perform at the event to highlight the country’s soft power, Lee said.
He said some members of Congress might attend the reception and present congratulatory letters and gifts to Taiwan’s Representative to the US Jason Yuan (袁健生). The representative office would invite other US officials to another smaller centennial reception, he said.
In a departure from National Day celebrations since 1979, Yuan will cut a cake and address the guests at the party, Lin said.
The ROC acquired the Twin Oaks Estate in 1947 from the family of Gardiner Green Hubbard, founder and first president of the National Geographic Society. After the US switched diplomatic recognition to China, Taiwan sold the property to the privately run Friends of Free China Association, co-chaired by then-US senator Barry Goldwater, for a symbolic amount of US$20, because it feared that the Chinese government would claim ownership of all the ROC’s assets in the US. Taiwan later bought back the property from the association for US$2 million.
The estate has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1986 in recognition of its historical past and architectural significance.