Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office
|Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office|
|Taipei Representative Office in the U.K. in London, United Kingdom.|
Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO), also known as Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) or Taipei Representative Office (Chinese: 台北經濟文化辦事處; pinyin: Táiběi Jǐngjì Wénhùa Bànshìchù), is a representative office equivalent to an embassy or a consulate which handles foreign affairs and citizen services of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in countries that have diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC, commonly "China"). Under the terms of the One China Policy stipulated by the PRC, such countries may not have diplomatic relations with the Republic of China, as the PRC denies the status of ROC as a sovereign state and claims Taiwan as part of its China. As a result, these countries do not allow the ROC to establish an "official" embassy or consulate but instead allow the ROC to establish these representative offices to conduct informal government relations with the host countries.
These establishments use the term "Taipei" instead of "Taiwan" or "ROC" since the term "Taipei" avoids implying that Taiwan is a different country on a par with the PRC or that there are "Two Chinas", the PRC and the ROC, both of which would cause difficulties for their host countries.
TECROs state that their aim is "to promote bilateral trade, investment, culture, science and technology exchanges and cooperation, as well as better understanding", although they perform many of the same functions as a normal embassy or consulate general, like issuing visas and passports.
TECROs do enjoy many diplomatic privileges such as extraterritoriality, providing consular protection and their staffs do have diplomatic immunity. Other countries also establish reciprocal representative offices in Taiwan, such as the American Institute in Taiwan, Canadian Trade Office in Taipei and Interchange Association, Japan.
TECRO in the United States 
Originally called the Coordination Council for North American Affairs (CCNAA). As a result of the Clinton Administration's Taiwan Policy Review of 1994, the name of the CCNAA office in Washington, D.C. (the "embassy") was changed to "Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office" (TECRO), and the names of the 12 other CCNAA offices ("consulates") in the United States were changed to "Taipei Economic and Cultural Office" (TECO).
U.S. TECRO Representatives 
- Gong-chuan Hsia, 1979–1981
- Wei-pin Tsai, 1981–1982
- Frederick Chien, 1982–1988
- Mao-shi Ding, 1988–1994
- Chao-chung Lu, 1994–1996
- Jason Hu, 1996–1997
- Stephen S. F. Chen, 1997–2000
- Chien-jen Chen, 2000–2004
- David Ta-wei Lee, 2004 - April 2007
- Joseph Wu, 2007–2008
- Jason Yuan, 2008 -
TECRO in Japan 
Diplomatic relations between ROC and Japan were broken off in September 1972. For practical reasons, the Association of East Asian Relations (EARA), was established in two months after Japan-China Joint Communique was signed. EARA had offices in Taipei, Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukuoka. In 1992, Japan authorized the change in name of EARA to TECRO, a move that was followed by U.S. President Bill Clinton in 1994.
However, the situation in Okinawa was different. Okinawa was occupied by the United States since the end of World War II until 1972, and its name under the occupation was Ryukyu. In 1958, the ROC established Sino-Ryukyuan Cultural and Economic Association. After Okinawa's return to Japan in May 1972 and the severance of diplomatic relations in September, the Office in Okinawa remained with the same name. This office, under a different title, had existed simultaneously with the TECRO offices in Japan until 2006, when the office in Okinawa was merged into the Office in Tokyo.
This curiosity may have arisen because the Ryūkyū Kingdom was a tributary state of China (the Ming and Qing Dynasties) before the 19th century, and consequently the ROC, as the successor government of the Qing, may for historical reasons have distinguished Okinawa from Japan. However, in 2006, Taiwan officially acknowledged that Okinawa is now part of Japan.
Representation in Hong Kong 
In Hong Kong, from the early 1960s, Taiwan was represented by the 'Chung Hwa Travel Service', a name chosen to avoid upsetting Beijing. In July 2011, as a result of warming relations between Taiwan and Beijing, the name was formally changed to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, bringing it into line with other de facto Taiwanese embassies around the world.
Representation in Macau 
In Macau, from 1989 to 1999, Taiwan was represented by the 'Taipei Trade and Tourism Office', Taiwan's first-time representation in Macau after Kuomintang's expulsion from Macau as the consequence of the December 3rd Incident in 1966. From 1999 to 2011, Taiwan was represented by the 'Taipei Economic and Cultural Center'. In 13 May 2011, the name was formally changed to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office.
TRO in the United Kingdom 
In 1950, the UK switched recognition from the Republic of China to the People’s Republic of China (PRC), while maintaining the British Consulate in Tamsui, through which the UK continued to carry out consular and trade-related activities. The Consulate was closed after the UK and the PRC upgraded relations to Ambassadorial level in March 1972, and in June 1980 the building and land of the Consulate were returned to the Taiwanese government. The ROC government’s office in the UK was set up in September 1963, and at the time was known as the Free Chinese Centre. On 15 April 1992, this was revised to become the Taipei Representative Office in the UK.
Taipei representative offices around the world 
The list below shows the countries where TECROs/TROs are established. The third column are those in which the title of the overseas offices is different.
Argentina (Oficina Comercial y Cultural de Taipei, Argentina)
Australia (Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Australia)
Austria (Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Vienna, Austria)
Bahrain (Trade Mission of Taiwan to the Kingdom of Bahrain)
Bolivia (Oficina Comercial de Taiwán en Bolivia)
Colombia (Oficina Comercial de Taipei, Bogotá, Colombia, S.A.)
Ecuador (Oficina Comercial de Taiwán, Quito, Ecuador)
Fiji (Trade Mission of the Taiwan, Suva, Republic of Fiji Islands)
Hong Kong (Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Hong Kong)
Indonesia (Taipei Economic and Trade Office, Jakarta, Indonesia)
India (Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in New Delhi, India)
Israel (Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Tel-Aviv)
Jordan (Commercial Office of Taiwan, Jordan)
South Korea (Taipei Mission in Korea)
Kuwait (Taipei Commercial Representative Office in the State of Kuwait)
Latvia (Taipei Mission in the Republic of Latvia)
Macau (Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Macau)
Malaysia (Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia)
Mongolia (Taipei Trade and Economic Representative Office in Ulaanbaatar)
Nigeria (The Trade Mission Taiwan Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria)
Papua New Guinea (The Trade Mission of Taiwan in Papua New Guinea)
Portugal (Taipei Economic and Cultural Center, Portugal)
Russia (Representative Office in Moscow for The Taipei-Moscow Economic and Cultural Coordination Commission)
South Africa (Taipei Liaison Office in the Republic of South Africa)
Sweden (Taipei Mission in Sweden)
Turkey (Taipei Economic and Cultural Mission in Ankara)
See also 
- Foreign relations of the Republic of China
- Republic of China diplomatic missions
- Political status of Taiwan
- Chinese Taipei
- Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office
- Huayu Enrichment Scholarship
- Taiwan Scholarship
- Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston
- "Taiwan-U.S. Relations." Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S.. Retrieved on January 28, 2009.
- "1994 Taiwan Policy Review." Formosan Association for Public Affairs. Retrieved on January 28, 2009.
- Is name change a game changer?, Taipei Times, 17 July 2011
- Taiwan changes name of HK office, RTHK News, 15 July 2011
- Macau representative office in Taiwan opens