Oct. 10, 2021 marks the 110th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China (Taiwan). We are also celebrating the first year of reopening the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Guam. However, due to the increase in COVID-19 cases on Guam our event this year is virtual. Although we cannot be together in person to celebrate, Taiwan remains dedicated to supporting Guam and CNMI during the pandemic and beyond. We are stronger together!

During 2021, Taiwan and the United States had a year of rock-solid ties. The U.S. generously donated over 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan in a time of great need. For this, we will always be thankful. The U.S. Senate recently passed the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, with defense policy provisions to support Taiwan. Although challenges remain, the pandemic has brought us together in global cooperation and resilience.

To quote Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen: “Our democracy is stronger because of your support.”

Our vision when we reopened the office was to strengthen the connection between Guam and Taiwan. Since last October, we have taken many steps towards accomplishing this goal. Notably, the 36th Guam Legislature passed a resolution in support of Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Assembly as an observer.

Projects we have collaborated on include the January humanitarian aid flight to Taiwan, SelectUSA Investment Summit, beach cleanup day, Taiwan-Guam drawing contest, the UOG Education Summit and the Aviation economic summit. Guam also opened a new Taiwan Office in Taipei. Taiwan continues to donate medical equipment to Guam including masks, body temperature scanners and pandemic readiness kits. We also supported the Harvest House Guam and local animal rescue efforts, such as GAIN, with donations.

To promote indigenous cultural exchange we donated books to the Department of CHamoru Affairs. In August, following the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, where Taiwan won a record-breaking number of medals, the Taiwan men's basketball team visited to play Guam for the FIBA Asia Cup qualifying tournament.

To solidify our relationship, our goal is not only to connect government-to-government but also people-to-people; by strengthening cultural, economic and educational ties we can move closer to reaching our goals. Guam has many new projects planned for 2022 and Taiwan is ready to lend support with innovation and creativity. We are here to stay and maintain a lasting positive impact on Guam! Taiwan can help! Taiwan is helping!

We truly look forward to being together in person to celebrate next year and to also visit CNMI when the travel restrictions are lifted. In the meantime, please accept my blessings for good health and prosperity.

Biba Guåhan! Biba Taiwan! Thank you. Si Yu'os Ma'åse'

Paul Chen is director general of the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office Guam.

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