Taiwan representative office in US territory of Guam to reopen

Move a sign of thriving Taiwan-US ties, including calls for nation to have greater US Indo-Pacific Strategy presence

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Tumon Bay in Guam 

Tumon Bay in Guam  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After a three-year hiatus, Taiwan will resume operations at its representative office in Guam, as Taiwan-U.S. ties thrive and there have been calls for the country to have a greater U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy presence.

The decision to temporarily close the office was made in 2017 after a financial review. There were also considerations of several other factors, followed by suspensions to the operation of its representative offices in Jeddah and Norway.

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced on Friday (July 3) that its representative office in Guam would reopen after discussions with the U.S. government. It is believed this will help strengthen interactions with its Asia-Pacific allies.

The formation of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy in 2018 coincides with Taiwan's New Southbound Policy, the statement says. "Taiwan and the U.S. have a shared vision and commitment to deeper levels of engagement, regardless of business or culture, with countries in the Indo-Pacific region, and the reopening will allow Taiwan to better serve our Asia-Pacific allies."

Despite the Guam representative office closing in 2017, Taiwan still has close business ties with Guam, with private investments being channeled to the U.S. territory in the North Pacific Ocean. Among the companies investing are Lih-Pao Construction Co., Chung Kuo Insurance, First Commercial Bank, Asia Cement Corporation, and China Airlines.

In addition, at least two Taiwanese medical centers have formed partnerships with medical institutions in Guam. Preparation works are underway, while the date of reopening has not been announced yet.

The number of Taiwan representative offices in the U.S. will add up to 13 after the reopening in Guam. There are also offices in Washington, New York, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Seattle, Houston, Chicago, Hawaii, Denver, and Miami.

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