UMD: A Globally Connected University

The University of Maryland and China: A Shared History

Collection of the Maryland State Archives

The University of Maryland (UMD) has a long and deep relationship with China that dates back to 1915, when UMD welcomed its first Chinese student, Chunjen Chen. Since then, UMD has been instrumental in advancing productive U.S.-China relations, including promoting Chinese culture and values throughout the 1940s, 50s and 60s via influential academic forums, hosting the well-known “Ping-Pong Diplomacy” matches in 1972 at Cole Field House, and establishing one of the first U.S.-China Sister State relationships in 1980. These relationships have paved the way for increased collaborative efforts with China through a variety of initiatives, including the Maryland China Initiative (now the Office of China Affairs), the current oldest Confucius Institute in the world, the Maryland International Incubator, as well as an extensive number of joint research efforts and academic exchanges. In terms of academic exchanges, UMD hosts around 2,500 Chinese students (undergraduate and graduate), has around 500 Chinese faculty and staff, and a vast number of cooperative research projects and programs across all of its 12 schools and colleges.