Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office
|Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office|
The Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO), also known as Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) or Taipei Representative Office (TRO) (Chinese: 台北經濟文化辦事處; pinyin: Táiběi Jīngjì Wénhùa Bànshìchù), is a representative office alternative 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 unofficial 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 in the United States enjoy many diplomatic privileges such as extraterritoriality, providing consular protection and their staff 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.
TECO 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), while the names of the twelve other CCNAA offices ("consulates") in the United States were changed to "Taipei Economic and Cultural Office" (TECO).
U.S. TECO Representatives
- James Shen (1 January 1979 – 9 May 1979)
- Gong-chuan Hsia, 1979–81
- Wei-pin Tsai, 1981–82
- Frederick Chien (19 November 1982 - 20 July 1988)
- Mao-shi Ding, 1988–94
- Chao-chung Lu, 1994–96
- Jason Hu, 1996–97
- Stephen S.F. Chen (1997–2000)
- Chen Chien-jen, (30 June 2000 – 20 May 2004)
- David Lee (25 July 2004 – 10 April 2007)
- Joseph Wu (10 April 2007 – 26 July 2008)
- Jason Yuan (4 August 2008 – 27 September 2012)
- King Pu-tsung (27 September 2012 – 24 March 2014)
- Shen Lyu-shun (1 April –)
TECO 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.
Japan TECO Representatives
- 馬樹禮, 1973–85
- Mou Shung-Nian, 1985
- Ma Ji-Zhuang, 1985–90
- Chiang Hsiao-wu, 1990–91
- Hsu Shui-teh, 1991–93
- Lin Chin-ching, 1993–96
- Chuang Ming-yao, 1996–2000
- Lo Fu-chen, 2000–04
- Koh Se-kai, 2004–08
- 馮寄臺, 2008–12
- Ssu-Tsun Shen, 2012-
Representation in Hong Kong
In Hong Kong, from 1966, Taiwan was represented by the 'Chung Hwa Travel Service', a name chosen to avoid upsetting Beijing. On 20 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 Republic of China representative offices 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'. On 13 May 2012, 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 or regions where TECROs/TROs are established.
|Country or Region||Office Name||Representative||Website|
|Argentina||Oficina Comercial y Cultural de Taipei en Argentina||Matthew S. Lee|||
|Australia||Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Australia||David Lee|||
|Austria||Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Vienna, Austria||Chen Lien-gene|||
|Bahrain||Trade Mission of Taiwan in the Kingdom of Bahrain||Michael Chen|||
|Belgium||Taipei Representative Office in the EU and Belgium||Tung Kuo-yu|||
|Brazil||Escritório Econômico e Cultural de Taipei no Brasil||Shyu Guang-pu|||
|Brunei||Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Brunei Darussalam||Albert Huang|||
|Canada||Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Canada||Bruce Linghu|||
|Chile||Oficina Economica y Cultural de Taipei||Wang Ming-wen|||
|Colombia||Oficina Comercial de Taipei en Bogota, Colombia||Tang Ji-zen|||
|Czech Republic||Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Prague, Czech Republic||Hsueh Mei-yu|||
|Denmark||Taipei Representative Office in Denmark||Lily Hsu|||
|Ecuador||Oficina Comercial de la República de China (Taiwán), Quito, Ecuador||Rolando Chuang|||
|Fiji||Trade Mission of the Republic of China to the Republic of Fiji||Chang Ming|||
|Finland||Taipei Representative Office in Finland||Lin Ching-lien|||
|France||Bureau de Représentation de Taipei en France||Michel Lu|||
|Germany||Taipeh Vertretung in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland||Chen Hwa-yue|||
|Greece||Taipei Representative Office in Greece||Agnes Chen|||
|Hong Kong||Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Hong Kong||James Chu|||
|Hungary||Taipei Representative Office, Budapest, Hungary||Marietta Kao Liau|||
|Indonesia||Taipei Economic and Trade Office, Jakarta, Indonesia||Chang Liang-jen|||
|India||Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in India||Lee Chao-cheng|||
|Ireland||Taipei Representative Office in Ireland||Harry Tseng|||
|Israel||Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Tel Aviv||Chi Yun-sheng|||
|Italy||Ufficio di Rappresentanza di Taipei in Italia||Stanley Kao|||
|Japan||Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan||Shen Ssu-tsun|||
|Jordan||Commercial Office of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Amman||Chang Yun-ping|||
|Kuwait||Taipei Commercial Representative Office in the State of Kuwait||Liu Kuo-hsing|||
|Latvia||Taipei Mission in the Republic of Latvia||Ko Kuang-yueh|||
|Macau||Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Macau||Lu Chang-shui|||
|Malaysia||Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia||Lo Yu-chung|||
|Mexico||Oficina Económica y Cultural de Taipei en México||Carlos Liao|||
|Mongolia||Taipei Trade and Economic Representative Office in Ulaanbaatar||Yang Syin-yi|||
|Netherlands||Taipei Representative Office in the Netherlands||James Lee|||
|New Zealand||Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New Zealand||Charng Yii-Lih|||
|Nigeria||The Trade Mission of the ROC (Taiwan), Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria||Yang Tien-hsing|||
|Norway||Taipei Representative Office in Norway||Victor Yu|||
|Oman||Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Muscat, Oman||Liao Kang-min|||
|Papua New Guinea||Trade Mission of the Republic of China (on Taiwan) in Papua New Guinea||Hu Chun-pu|||
|Peru||Oficina Económica y Cultural de Taipei, Lima, República del Perú||Alejandro Huang|||
|Philippines||Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines||Lin Song-huann|||
|Poland||Biuro Gospodarcze i Kulturalne Tajpej||Chen Ming-cheng|||
|Portugal||Centro Económico e Cultural de Taipei||Her Jian-gueng|||
|Russia||Representative Office in Moscow for the Taipei-Moscow Economic and Cultural Coordination Commission||Chen Chun-shen|||
|Saudi Arabia||Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia||Lin Jinn-jong|||
|Singapore||Taipei Representative Office in Singapore||Jacob Chang|||
|Slovakia||Taipei Representative Office, Bratislava||Andrew Chang|||
|South Africa||Taipei Liaison Office in the Republic of South Africa||Michael Hsu|||
|South Korea||Taipei Mission in Korea||Benjamin Liang|||
|Spain||Oficina Económica y Cultural de Taipei||Javier Hou|||
|Sweden||Taipei Mission in Sweden||Leo Chen-Jan Lee|||
|Switzerland||Taipei Cultural and Economic Delegation in Switzerland||Liu Bang-zyh|||
|Thailand||Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Thailand||Henry Chen|||
|Turkey||Taipei Economic and Cultural Mission in Ankara||James Chen|||
|United Arab Emirates||Commercial Office of the Republic of China to Dubai, UAE||Chang Wang-lu|||
|United Kingdom||Taipei Representative Office in the U.K.||Liu Chih-kung|||
|United States||Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States||Shen Lyu-shun|||
|Vietnam||Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Hanoi, Vietnam||Huang Chih-peng|||
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