Taiwan to make first-ever relocation of representative office in U.S.

Taipei, July 13 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) will relocate the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Kansas City to Denver, Colorado, marking the first relocation of Taiwan's representative office in the United States. An official of the ministry has confirmed with CNA that the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Kansas City, the largest U.S. city in the midwestern state of Missouri, will "end its periodic tasks" and move west to Denver by the end of 2014. The decision came as the MOFA becomes more optimistic about the future development of Denver, which is a key communication relay station in the U.S. and has established close relationships with Taiwanese information and communication technology firms, the officials said. The ministry has reached a consensus on the relocation plan with the U.S. government, the official said, adding that there are fewer than ten foreign consulates remain in Kansas City. In late June this year, the MOFA selected a broker to help it lease a commercial property in downtown Denver and a residential property in the Denver area, which would cost a total of US$1.88 million for a tenancy of seven years. Taiwan had set up a consulate in Kansas City prior to the United States switching diplomatic recognition from the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1979. The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Kansas City was established in 1985 based upon the Taiwan Relations Act, an act of the U.S. Congress passed in 1979 that defines the American position on Taiwan and its cross-strait relationship with Beijing. Taiwan currently has 12 representative office in the U.S., located in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Guam, Houston, Honolulu, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Seattle. (By Tang Pei-chun and Jeffrey Wu)