The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office creates bridges between Taiwan and the rest of the Pacific. And in line with this mission, TECO is hosting an art contest with the theme “Guam and Taiwan-Timeless Friendship.”
“The reason we decided to hold this contest so the school was shut down during the pandemic,” said Paul Chen, TECO director general. “We noticed Guam government was so kind to offer free internet to disadvantaged families and kids but then we begin realized that those poor families don't have a device. They may have a cellphone but not a computer or a tablet. So we have this idea we wanted to offer a prize device for them.”
As other Asian nations invest in islands’ resources, TECO hopes to invest in Guam’s community. Chen said, “We have to look into the future and these kids are our future bridge between Taiwan and Guam. and then after that drawing contest, those winners will be displayed in Taiwan. This brings awareness of Guam to Taiwanese kids.”
The director also mentioned Taiwan wanting to revive its cultural heritage by connecting with other Austronesian nations. He said, “I see the government here trying to revive the Chamoru culture and we’re trying that with Taiwan too. We’re trying to create our new identity. We're not a part of China. We have more than Chinese. We have indigenous people. We have 16 tribes. Sixteen different languages.”
Chen talked about Taiwan wanting to cement itself as a part of the Pacific by uplifting other Pacific Islands. “This art contest is something outside of politics,” he said. “This is related to self-power, self-diplomacy. It's a people, to people exchange. We want to do more of these things. We want to bring back the Taiwanese dancers that came here during FestPac. We also want to invite Chamoru scholars to visit Taiwan too. We hope to do this when the pandemic ends.”'