The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Guam was yesterday reopened after a three-year suspension of operations, with Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) announcing the donation of more medical equipment to the territory.
The office was closed in 2017 due to budgetary and personnel allocation concerns, while its re-establishment — announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in July, with preparations in August — was postponed due to an increase in COVID-19 cases in Guam.
The office’s reopening, held yesterday alongside its Double Ten National Day reception, was hosted by office Director-General Paul Chen (陳盈連), Guam Lieutenant Governor Josh Tenorio and Guam Legislature Speaker Tina Muna Barnes, the ministry said in a news release yesterday.
Wu and Guam Governor Lourdes Leon Guerrero sent their congratulations via pre-recorded videos.
In his speech, Wu recalled that he accompanied President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on a transit stop in Guam three years ago and was impressed by the warm hospitality of the people.
Taiwan and Guam enjoy strong ties, especially in trade, tourism and medical cooperation, he said, adding that Taiwanese enterprises, such as Lih Pao Construction (麗寶建設) and Asia Cement Corp (亞洲水泥), have long invested in Guam.
To support Guam in the fight against COVID-19, Taiwan would donate Taiwan-made body temperature scanners — four apiece — to the Guamanian government, the Guamanian Legislature, Guam Memorial Hospital and Guam Regional Medical City, after donating 200,000 masks in June, Wu said.
“Taiwan and Guam share a unique relationship because we can trace our roots to a common Austronesian heritage,” he said.
The office’s reopening would further strengthen bilateral economic, trade and cultural ties, and leverage the strategic location of Guam in the Western Pacific to increase multilateral exchanges within the region, Wu said.
Guerrero said in a video that the office’s re-establishment would allow both sides to sustain economic and cultural exchanges, and increase services to Taiwanese travelers and businesses.
“Taiwan remains one of the few success stories in this global pandemic and we commend your leadership for what you are able to accomplish,” she said.
“It is an accomplishment such as this that would make Taiwan’s participation in international organizations, like the World Health Organization, an invaluable resource,” she said.
Event guests — limited to 25 as a health precaution — included former Guam governor Eddie Calvo, Guam Visitors Bureau President Carl Gutierrez — who served as governor from 1995 to 2003 — and several foreign representatives, the ministry said.
In other news, the ministry said that after negotiations, the break dancer ranking Web site Bboyrankingz corrected its misidentification of Taiwan as a province of China.
After Internet users informed the ministry of the false reference, it contacted the Web site’s managers, who had a positive response, it said, expressing its appreciation that the Web site made the correction in two days.
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