TAIPEI — Taiwan said on Friday it will re-open its de facto consulate in Guam, a strategically-located U.S. island with a large U.S. military base in the Pacific, a part of the world where China is stepping up its diplomatic reach.
China is challenging U.S. influence in the Pacific, a region that the United States has considered its back yard since World War Two. Last year, China whittled away at Taiwan’s allies in the Pacific by winning over Kiribati and the Solomon Islands.
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said the re-opening of its Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Guam, after its closure in 2017 for budget reasons, was a response to closer Taiwan-U.S. relations and the strategic importance of the Pacific region.
“Reestablishing TECO in Guam will facilitate economic and trade cooperation and exchanges between Taiwan and the greater western Pacific region, deepen Taiwan’s relations with its Pacific allies, and increase multilateral exchanges,” the ministry said.