Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office

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Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office
Trouk.jpg
Traditional Chinese 臺北經濟文化辦事處

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO), also known as Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) or Taipei Representative Office (TRO) (Chinese: 臺北經濟文化辦事處; 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 territory. 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.

However, in Papua New Guinea and Fiji, the local missions are known as the "Trade Mission of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Papua New Guinea"[1] and "Trade Mission of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the Republic of Fiji"[2] respectively, despite both countries having diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. The Taipei Representative Office in Singapore was similarly known as the "Trade Mission of the Republic of China" until 1990.[3]

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. In this respect, they function as de facto embassies.

TECROs in the United States enjoy many diplomatic privileges such as extraterritoriality, providing consular protection and their staff have diplomatic immunity.[4] 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.

History[edit]

Following the admission of the PRC to the United Nations in 1971, many countries began to establish diplomatic relations with the government in Beijing, and as a consequence, ended diplomatic relations with the ROC government in Taipei.[5] In order to maintain trade and cultural ties with countries with which it no longer had diplomatic relations, Taiwan established representative offices in these countries, often replacing its former embassies.

Before the 1990s, the names of these offices would vary considerably from country to country, usually omitting any reference to "Taiwan" or "Republic of China", instead referring to "East Asia", "Far East" or "Free China".[6] They would also describe themselves as "centres" or "offices", concerned with trade, tourism, culture or information, thereby emphasising their private and unofficial status, despite being staffed by Ministry of Foreign Affairs personnel.

For example, in Japan, the former ROC Embassy was replaced by the "Association of East Asian Relations" (AEAR) established in 1972.[7] In Malaysia, following the closure of the Consulate General in Kuala Lumpur in 1974, an office known as the Far East Travel and Trade Centre was established.[8] In the Philippines, the former Embassy in Manila was replaced by the "Pacific Economic and Cultural Center", established in 1975.[7] In Thailand, the former Embassy in Bangkok was replaced by the "Office of the Representative of China Airlines" in 1975.[9] This was later renamed the Far East Trade Office in 1980.[8]

In the United States, Taipei's mission, established in 1979, was known as the "Coordination Council for North American Affairs" (CCNAA).[10]

In the United Kingdom, Taiwan was represented by the "Free Chinese Centre", established in 1963.[11] In West Germany, it was represented by a Büro der Fernost-Informationen ("Far East Information Office") established in 1972.[12] In Spain, the office, established in 1973, was known as the Centro Sun Yat-sen ("Sun Yat-sen Centre").[13] In the Netherlands, the office was known as the "Far East Trade Office".[13]

However, in the late 1980s, these offices began using the name "Taipei" in their titles. In May 1992, the AEAR offices in Japan became Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Offices.[14] The "Free Chinese Centre" in London was similarly renamed the "Taipei Representative Office".[15] In September 1994, the Clinton Administration announced that the CCNAA office in Washington could similarly be called the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office.[16]

The building hosting TECO branch office in Sydney, Australia

Earlier in 1989, the "Pacific Economic and Cultural Center" in Manila became the "Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines".[17] In 1991, the "Taiwan Marketing Service" office in Canberra, Australia, established in 1988, also became a "Taipei Economic and Cultural Office", along with the "Far East Trading Company" offices in Sydney and Melbourne.[18]

Other names are still used elsewhere; for example, the mission in Moscow is formally known as the "Representative Office in Moscow for the Taipei-Moscow Economic and Cultural Coordination Commission",[19] the mission in New Delhi is known as the "Taipei Economic and Cultural Center".[20] The mission in Pretoria is known as the "Taipei Liaison Office".[21]

TECO in the United States[edit]

Originally called the Coordination Council for North American Affairs (CCNAA), the name of the CCNAA office in Washington, D.C. (the "embassy") was changed to "Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office" (TECRO), as a result of the Clinton Administration's Taiwan Policy Review of 1994.[16] Similarly, the names of the twelve other CCNAA offices ("consulates") in the United States were changed to "Taipei Economic and Cultural Office" (TECO).[22]

TECO in Japan[edit]

TECRO in Japan

Diplomatic relations between ROC and Japan were broken off in September 1972. For practical reasons, the Association of East Asian Relations (AEAR), was established in two months after the Japan-China Joint Communique was signed. EARA had offices in Taipei, Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukuoka.[23] In 1992, Japan authorized the change in name of AEAR to TECRO.[24]

Representation in Hong Kong[edit]

In Hong Kong, from 1966, Taiwan was represented by the 'Chung Hwa Travel Service', a name chosen to avoid upsetting Beijing.[25] 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.[26]

Representation in Macau[edit]

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.[27]

TRO in the United Kingdom[edit]

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.[11] In 1992, this was revised to become the Taipei Representative Office in the UK.[28]

Taipei representative offices around the world[edit]

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 [1]
 Australia Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Australia William Lin (acting) [2]
 Austria Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Vienna, Austria Vanessa Shih [3]
 Bahrain Trade Mission of Taiwan in the Kingdom of Bahrain Michael Chen [4]
 Belgium Taipei Representative Office in the EU and Belgium Tung Kuo-yu [5]
 Brazil Escritório Econômico e Cultural de Taipei no Brasil Shyu Guang-pu [6]
 Brunei Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Brunei Darussalam Albert Huang [7]
 Canada Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Canada Wu Rong-chuan [8]
 Chile Oficina Economica y Cultural de Taipei Wang Ming-wen [9]
 Colombia Oficina Comercial de Taipei en Bogotá, Colombia Tang Ji-zen [10]
 Czech Republic Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Prague, Czech Republic Hsueh Mei-yu [11]
 Denmark Taipei Representative Office in Denmark Lily Hsu [12]
 Ecuador Oficina Comercial de la República de China (Taiwán), Quito, Ecuador Rolando Chuang [13]
 Fiji Trade Mission of the Republic of China to the Republic of Fiji Chang Ming [14]
 Finland Taipei Representative Office in Finland Lin Ching-lien [15]
 France Bureau de Représentation de Taipei en France Michel Lu [16]
 Germany Taipeh Vertretung in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland Chen Hwa-yue [17]
 Greece Taipei Representative Office in Greece Agnes Chen [18]
 Hong Kong Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Hong Kong James Chu[29] [19]
 Hungary Taipei Representative Office, Budapest, Hungary Marietta Kao Liau [20]
 Indonesia Kamar Dagang dan Ekonomi Taipei, Jakarta, Indonesia Chang Liang-jen[30] [21]
 India Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in India Lee Chao-cheng[31] [22]
 Ireland Taipei Representative Office in Ireland Harry Tseng [23]
 Israel Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Tel Aviv Chi Yun-sheng[32] [24]
 Italy Ufficio di Rappresentanza di Taipei in Italia Stanley Kao [25]
 Japan Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan Frank Hsieh [26]
 Jordan Commercial Office of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Amman Chang Yun-ping [27]
 Kuwait Taipei Commercial Representative Office in the State of Kuwait Liu Kuo-hsing [28]
 Libya Taiwan Commercial Office in Tripoli Ma Chao-yuan [29]
 Latvia Taipei Mission in the Republic of Latvia Ko Kuang-yueh [30]
 Macau Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Macau Lu Chang-shui[33] [31]
 Malaysia Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia Lo Yu-chung [32]
 Mexico Oficina Económica y Cultural de Taipei en México Carlos Liao [33]
 Mongolia Taipei Trade and Economic Representative Office in Ulaanbaatar Yang Syin-yi [34]
 Netherlands Taipei Representative Office in the Netherlands James Lee [35]
 New Zealand Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New Zealand Charng Yii-Lih [36]
 Nigeria Trade Mission of the ROC (Taiwan), Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria Yang Tien-hsing [37]
 Norway Taipei Representative Office in Norway Victor Yu [38]
 Oman Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Muscat, Oman Liao Kang-min [39]
 Papua New Guinea Trade Mission of the Republic of China (on Taiwan) in Papua New Guinea Hu Chun-pu [40]
 Peru Oficina Económica y Cultural de Taipei, Lima, República del Perú Alejandro Huang [41]
 Philippines Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines Lin Song-huann [42]
 Poland Biuro Gospodarcze i Kulturalne Tajpej Chen Ming-cheng[31] [43]
 Portugal Centro Económico e Cultural de Taipei Her Jian-gueng [44]
 Russia Representative Office in Moscow for the Taipei-Moscow Economic and Cultural Coordination Commission Chen Chun-shen [45]
 Saudi Arabia Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Lin Jinn-jong [46]
 Singapore Taipei Representative Office in Singapore Jacob Chang [47]
 Slovakia Taipei Representative Office, Bratislava Andrew Chang [48]
 South Africa Taipei Liaison Office in the Republic of South Africa Michael Hsu [49]
 South Korea Taipei Mission in Korea Joseph Shih [50]
 Spain Oficina Económica y Cultural de Taipei Simon Ko [51]
 Sweden Taipei Mission in Sweden Leo Chen-Jan Lee [52]
  Switzerland Taipei Cultural and Economic Delegation in Switzerland Liu Bang-zyh [53]
 Thailand Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Thailand Henry Chen [54]
 Turkey Taipei Economic and Cultural Mission in Ankara James Chen [55]
 United Arab Emirates Commercial Office of the Republic of China to Dubai, UAE Chang Wang-lu [56]
 United Kingdom Taipei Representative Office in the U.K. Liu Chih-kung [57]
 United States Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States Stanley Kao [58]
 Vietnam Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Hanoi, Vietnam Huang Chih-peng [59]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Trade Mission of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Papua New Guinea
  2. ^ Trade Mission of the Republic of China to the Republic of Fiji
  3. ^ American Journal of Chinese Studies, Volumes 3–4, American Association for Chinese Studies, 1996, page 170
  4. ^ New Taiwan-U.S. diplomatic immunity pact a positive move: scholar, Taipei Mission, 12 Feb 2013
  5. ^ The Road Less Traveled, Taiwan Review, September 1, 2002
  6. ^ China and Europe Since 1978: A European Perspective, Richard L. Edmonds, Cambridge University Press, 2002, page 141
  7. ^ a b International Law of Recognition and the Status of the Republic of China, Hungdah Chiu, in The United States and the Republic of China: Democratic Friends, Strategic Allies, and Economic Partners, Steven W. Mosher Transaction Publishers, 1992, page 24
  8. ^ a b Foreign Policy of the New Taiwan: Pragmatic Diplomacy in Southeast Asia, Jie Chen, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2002, page 82
  9. ^ The Changing Political Economy of Taiwan's and China's Relations with Southeast Asia: A Comparative Perspective, Samuel C Y Ku in China and Southeast Asia: Global Changes and Regional Challenge, Ho Khai Leong, Samuel C Y Ku, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2005, page 259
  10. ^ Memorandum of Understanding between the American Institute in Taiwan and the Coordination Council for North American Affairs on the Exchange of Information Concerning Commodity Futures and Options Matters, Signed at Arlington, Virginia this 11th day of January 1993
  11. ^ a b The Cold War's Odd Couple: The Unintended Partnership Between the Republic of China and the UK, 1950–1958, Steven Tsang, I.B.Tauris, 2006, page 39
  12. ^ Die Beziehungen zwischen Taiwan und Deutschland, Taipeh Vertretung in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
  13. ^ a b Pretence of Privatisation: Taiwan's External Relations, Françoise Mengin, in Privatising the State, Béatrice Hibou, C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2004, pages 154
  14. ^ Republic of China Yearbook Kwang Hwa Publishing Company, 1998, 145
  15. ^ Former diplomats to Great Britain remember Thatcher, The China Post, 10 April 2013
  16. ^ a b Taiwan's Relations with Mainland China: A Tail Wagging Two Dogs, Chi Su Routledge, 2008, page 31
  17. ^ Ensuring Interests: Dynamics of China-Taiwan Relations and Southeast Asia, Khai Leong Ho, Guozhong He, Institute of China Studies, University of Malaya, 2006, page 25
  18. ^ Australia and China: Partners in Asia, Colin Mackerras, Macmillan Education, 1996, page 33
  19. ^ Representative Office in Moscow for the Taipei-Moscow Economic and Cultural Coordination Commission
  20. ^ MoU between India-Taipei Association (ITA) in Taipei and Taipei Economic and Cultural Center (TECC) in India on cooperation in the field of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Press Information Bureau, Government of India, Cabinet, 14 October 2015
  21. ^ Taipei Liaison Office in the RSA
  22. ^ "1994 Taiwan Policy Review." Formosan Association for Public Affairs. Retrieved on January 28, 2009.
  23. ^ The International Law of Recognition and the Status of the Republic of China, Hungdah Chiu in The United States and the Republic of China: Democratic Friends, Strategic Allies, and Economic Partners, Steven W. Mosher, Transaction Publishers, 1992, page 24
  24. ^ Republic of China Yearbook. Kwang Hwa Publishing Company. 1998. p. 145. 
  25. ^ Is name change a game changer?, Taipei Times, 17 July 2011
  26. ^ Taiwan changes name of HK office, RTHK News, 15 July 2011
  27. ^ Macau representative office in Taiwan opens The China Post, May 14, 2012
  28. ^ Former diplomats to Great Britain remember Thatcher, China Post, 10 April 2013
  29. ^ "Activity Highlights". Eccpc.org.hk. Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
  30. ^ "Taiwan's names new representative to Indonesia - Taiwan News Online". Taiwannews.com.tw. 2013-11-22. Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
  31. ^ a b Two diplomats sworn in before departing for Poland, India, Focus Taiwan, July 8, 2015
  32. ^ "Taiwan's new representative to Israel to assume duties this week | Politics | FOCUS TAIWAN - CNA ENGLISH NEWS". Focustaiwan.tw. Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
  33. ^ "Taiwan's man in Macau has creative approach". Macau Business Daily. Retrieved 2014-06-09. 

External links[edit]