Consulate General of the United States, Chengdu

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One of six American diplomatic and consular posts in the People's Republic of China.[1] The consular district includes the provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan, and Guizhou, the Tibet Autonomous Region, and the city of Chongqing.

The consulate was opened by Vice President George H.W. Bush in 1985 in an annex of the Jinjiang Hotel. The consulate moved in 1993 to its own compound at #4, Lingshiguan Lu, where it remains.

In 1993, the Peace Corps began a program in China, headquartered in Chengdu. A Peace Corps Director and staff were posted in the city. From its beginning, the primary mission of Peace Corps China has been to assist in the training of young Chinese to become English teachers in the rapidly increasing number of junior high schools of the area, specifically in the relatively undeveloped provinces of Gansu, Guizhou, and Sichuan as well as the municipality of Chongqing. There were eighteen teachers in the first group of Peace Corps China Volunteers, and they served in five teacher training institutions. Now, twenty years later, there are about 150 Volunteers teaching in 90 institutions.

The consulate compound came under attack in May 1999 by crowds enraged by the US accidental bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade. The Consul General’s Residence was heavily damaged by fire.

In 2008, Condoleezza Rice was the first US Secretary of State to visit the consulate. She came in response to the massive Sichuan earthquake that killed approximately 80,000 people. Rice visited a relief camp in Dujiangyan as well as an emergency water purification project donated by the United States.

In February, 2012, a Chinese official entered the US Consulate General in Chengdu setting off a political scandal that led to the downfall of Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai.[2]

History of the Consulate General[edit]

The Consulate started with only six American officers and approximately 20 local employees. It was made up of an Executive Office (a Consul General and administrative assistant); a small office handling political, economic and commercial issues; a Consular Section; a Management Section and what was then known as the U.S. Information Service.

In 1985, each of the offices was covered by one American officer. The Consulate today has grown tremendously by comparison, with almost 130 total staff.

Approximately 100 of these are locally hired professional Chinese staff who are the heart of our daily operations and many of whom have served for many years.

The Americans on staff are here for only a relatively short time – typically two to three years. All are professionals within the U.S. diplomatic service, and have specifically asked to come to Chengdu. More and more of the American staff speak Chinese, reflecting a general trend worldwide and underscoring the commitment of the U.S. government to what has been described as the most important bilateral relationship in the world.

The consulate has sections that focus on political, economic, consular, press and cultural affairs and also includes a full office now for the Foreign Commercial Service and a new Agricultural Trade Office, opened in 2007. The management and security sections support our daily operations. Each of these sections and the people who staff them are committed to building the relationship with Southwest China in a wide range of areas, including U.S.-China business relations, educational and cultural exchange, agricultural cooperation, and cooperation to solve global challenges that affect the United States and southwest China alike.

Bo Xilai Incident[edit]

In February 2012, vice-mayor of Chongqing fled to the Consulate General of the United States in Chengdu,[3] where he remained for around 24 hours, amid rumours of political infighting with Chongqing Communist Party secretary Bo Xilai, sparking off the Wang Lijun incident which led to Bo's eventual ouster and trial.[4]

Consuls General[edit]

The current Consul General is Raymond Greene.[5]

Previous Consuls General are: Peter Haymond (2011-2014) David E.Brown (2009-2010) James Boughner (2006-2009) Jeff Moon (2004-2006) David Bleyle (2001-2003) Brian Woo (1999-2000) Cornelis Keur (1995-1999) Donald A. Camp (1992–95) Marshall Adair (1990-1992) Bill Thomas (1985-1988)

See also[edit]

References[edit]