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The United States Ambassador to China ( ) is the chief Americanmarker diplomat to Chinamarker. The United Statesmarker has sent diplomatic representatives to Chinamarker since 1844, when Caleb Cushing, as Commissioner, negotiated the Treaty of Wanghia. Commissioners represented the United States in China from 1844 to 1857. Until 1898, the Qing Empiremarker did not have a system in place for the Emperor to accept the Letters of Credence of foreign representatives. From 1858 to 1935, the U.S. representative in China was formally Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to China. The American legation in Nanjing was upgraded to an Embassy in 1935 and the Envoy was promoted to Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.

During the Republican Era, the U.S. recognized the Beiyang Government in Beijing from 1912 to 1928 and the Nationalist Government in Nanjingmarker (and Chongqingmarker from 1937 to 1945) from 1928 onwards. After the Communist People's Republic of Chinamarker was established in mainland China in 1949 and the Kuomintang moved the Republic of Chinamarker government from Nanjing to Taipeimarker, the U.S. continued to recognize the Republic of China as the legitimate Chinese government and maintained its embassy in Taiwan. However, in 1973, the U.S. established a Liaison Office in Beijing to represent its interests in mainland China. In 1976, the Chief of the Liaison Office was promoted to the rank of Ambassador. In December 1978, the U.S. severed official relations with the Republic of China and in January 1979, established formal relations with the People's Republic of China. The U.S. Liaison Office in Beijing was upgraded to an embassy on March 1, 1979. The American Institute in Taiwan was established in 1979 to serve as the unofficial U.S. representative to Taiwan, with the director of its Taipei Office taking the role of a de facto ambassador.

Chronology

Representation is as follows (years refer to dates of actual service):

Qing Empire: Republic of China: People's Republic of China

List of Envoys to the Qing Empire

Name Home State Appointed Terminated
Caleb Cushing Massachusettsmarker May 8, 1843 August 27, 1844
Alexander Everett Massachusettsmarker March 13, 1845 June 28, 1847
John W. Davis Indianamarker January 3, 1848 May 25, 1850
Humphrey Marshall Kentuckymarker August 4, 1852 January 27, 1854
Robert Milligan McLane Marylandmarker October 18, 1853 December 12, 1854
Peter Parker Massachusettsmarker August 16, 1855 August 25, 1857
William B. Reed Pennsylvaniamarker April 18, 1857 November 11, 1858
John E. Ward Georgiamarker December 15, 1858 December 15, 1860
Anson Burlingame Massachusettsmarker June 14, 1861 November 21, 1867
Ross Browne Californiamarker March 11, 1868 July 5, 1869
Frederick F. Low Californiamarker September 28, 1869 July 24, 1873
Benjamin Avery Californiamarker April 10, 1874 November 8, 1875
George Seward Californiamarker January 7, 1876 August 16, 1880
James Burrill Angell Michiganmarker April 9, 1880 October 4, 1881
John Russell Young New Yorkmarker March 15, 1882 April 7, 1885
Charles Harvey Denby Indianamarker May 29, 1885 July 8, 1898
Edwin H. Conger Iowamarker July 8, 1898 April 4, 1905
William Woodville Rockhill District of Columbiamarker March 8, 1905 June 1, 1909
William James Calhoun Illinoismarker December 21, 1909 February 16, 1913


List of Envoys to the Republic of China

Name Home State Appointed Terminated
Paul Reinsch Wisconsinmarker August 15, 1913 September 15, 1919
Charles R. Crane Illinoismarker March 22, 1920 July 2, 1921
Jacob Gould Schurman New Yorkmarker June 2, 1921 April 15, 1925
John MacMurray New Jerseymarker April 9, 1925 November 22, 1929


List of Ambassadors to the Republic of China

Name Home State Appointed Terminated
Nelson T. Johnson Oklahomamarker December 16, 1929 May 14, 1941
Clarence E. Gauss Connecticutmarker February 11, 1941 November 14, 1944
Patrick J. Hurley Oklahomamarker November 30, 1944 September 22, 1945
John Leighton Stuart New Yorkmarker July 12, 1946 August 2, 1949
The Communists took the Nationalist capital of Nanjing in April 1949, but Stuart was not recalled from China until August 1949. The United States did not recognize the new government of the People's Republic of Chinamarker upon its founding in October 1949. The Consulate in Taipei was upgraded to an embassy in 1953, and therefore the Ambassador to China maintained residence at Taipei, Taiwanmarker, in the Republic of Chinamarker until relations were severed in 1979.

Name Home State Appointed Terminated
Karl L. Rankin Mainemarker February 27, 1953 December 30, 1957
Everett Drumright Oklahomamarker February 17, 1958 March 8, 1962
Alan G. Kirk New Yorkmarker June 7, 1962 January 18, 1963
Jerauld Wright District of Columbiamarker May 3, 1963 July 25, 1965
Walter McConaughy Alabamamarker June 16, 1966 April 4, 1974
Leonard S. Unger Marylandmarker March 14, 1974 January 19, 1979


For a list of de facto U.S. Ambassadors to Taiwan since 1979, see list of AIT Directors at American Institute in Taiwan.

List of chiefs of the U.S. Liaison Office in Beijing

Between May 1973 and March 1979 prior to the official establishment of diplomatic relations, the United States dispatched a head of U.S. Liaison Office in Peking (now Beijing).
Name Home State Appointed Terminated
David K. E. Bruce Virginiamarker March 15, 1973 September 25, 1974
George H. W. Bush Texasmarker September 26, 1974 December 7, 1975
Thomas S. Gates, Jr. Pennsylvaniamarker April 14, 1976 May 8, 1977
Leonard Woodcock Michiganmarker July 11, 1977 March 1, 1979


List of Ambassadors to the People's Republic of China

The United States established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of Chinamarker, and terminated them with the Republic of Chinamarker, on January 1, 1979. The American Embassy at Taipei closed February 28, 1979, while the American Liaison Office at Beijing was redesignated the American Embassy on March 1, 1979.

Name Home State Appointed Terminated
Leonard Woodcock Michiganmarker February 27, 1979 February 13, 1981
Arthur W. Hummel, Jr. Marylandmarker July 30, 1981 September 24, 1985
Winston Lord New Yorkmarker November 6, 1985 April 23, 1989
James Lilley Marylandmarker April 20, 1989 May 10, 1991
J. Stapleton Roy Pennsylvaniamarker July 2, 1991 June 17, 1995
Jim Sasser Tennesseemarker February 14, 1996 July 1, 1999
Joseph Prueher Tennesseemarker November 16, 1999 May 1, 2001
Clark T. Randt, Jr. Connecticutmarker July 12, 2001 January 20, 2009
Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. Utahmarker August 11, 2009


Notes

  1. Diplomatic relations with China interrupted on February 12, 1912 upon the abdication of Puyi.
  2. Diplomatic relations with Beijing's Beiyang government terminated and recognition given to Nanjing's National Government on October 1, 1928.
  3. Upon normalization of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, Leonard Woodcock was promoted from Liaison to Ambassador in the new Embassy.

References




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