Oct 13, 2020

Taiwan Reopens Representative Office in Guam in Another Gesture of International Solidarity

Marking celebrations of its 109th "National Day", Taiwan reopened last 10 October the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Guam, following a three-year hiatus. A small-scale reception in respect of coronavirus-combating protocols was held on the occasion, which saw the participation of high-level officials such as  the U.S. territory’s Lt. Gov. Joshua F. Tenorio, Legislature Speaker Tina Muna Barnes and former Govs. Eddie Calvo and Carl Guierrez.

The UNPO welcomes the reopening of the TECO office in Guam and commends once again Taiwan's remarkable solidarity towards peoples in need around the world. Throughout the pandemic, Taiwan has provided Personal Protective Equipment(PPE) kits and ventilators to unrepresented peoples and microstates in need; as well as formalised ties with Somaliland, a state lacking effective international representation.  

Hosted by TECO Guam Director General Paul Chen, the event featured virtual addresses by MOFA Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu and Guam Gov. Lourdes Leon Guerrerohe. The Taiwanese official said four "Made in Taiwan" body-temperature scanners will be donated to Guam’s government, parliamentary and medical facilities. He added that such initiative is part of the "Taiwan Can Help" campaing and hopes to strengthen the U.S. territory’s response to the pandemic.

According to Wu, Taiwan and Guam enjoy deep friendship and extensive exchanges spanning such areas as health care, tourism and trade. Around 30,000 ROC (Taiwan) nationals traveled to Guam each year before the outbreak of COVID-19, he said, adding that Taiwan also saw a rise in inbound visitor numbers from the Western Pacific island.

In April this year, Guam issued a resolution in support of Taiwan's participation at the World Health Organisation (WHO) and "commending them for their successful response to the COVID-19 pandemic." Referring to Taiwan's commitment to freedom and democracy, as well as its being a longlasting friend and ally of the US, the declaration emphasised that "the freedom and democracy enjoyed by the people of the Republic of China (Taiwan) are clearly demonstrated in the progress and growth of the economy of this great country." Moreover, in the resolution the Legislature of Guam concludes that the "people of Taiwan deserve the same level of public health as citizens of every nation on earth, and that we support them in their efforts to achieve its objective to become an observer of WHO; and commend them on their response to the COVID-19 pandemic".