UMD: A Globally Connected University
Welcome to the Office of China Affairs
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the website for the Office of China Affairs (OCA) at the University of Maryland.
The University of Maryland has a long and productive relationship with China that dates back to 1915. Since then, UMD has been instrumental in advancing productive U.S.-China relations, including hosting some of the well-known "ping pong diplomacy" matches in 1972 at Cole Field House and proposing the first US-China Sister State-Province relationship with Anhui Province. These events not only played a national role, but they also laid the foundation for the university to be at the forefront of U.S. higher education's developing relationship with China. In 1996, UMD became one of the first universities to establish a Chinese government-approved training program for government officials, training approximately 600 Chinese officials and university administrators every year. You can find more information on these programs here. In 2004, it became home to the first Confucius Institute in the United States, now the oldest in the world, which provides teachers of Chinese language and culture to 10 communities across Maryland and Washington D.C. In 2009, it founded the Maryland International Incubator, which has provided space to over 24 Chinese companies. Throughout this entire period, UMD faculty have collaborated on an ever-growing number of research projects with Chinese universities and institutes in an effort to find solutions to the vexing problems of our age. UMD has a large number of exchange programs with Chinese universities. Read more about UMD’s rich and storied history with China here.
The establishment of the Office of China Affairs (OCA) represents the next leap forward in deepening the university's ties with China. OCA's work falls into six distinct areas:
- Coordinating existing relationships between various academic units and China
- Serving as the University’s SAFEA-approved training center for Chinese officials, university administrators, and professionals
- Developing exciting and innovative student programs in China that will help prepare our students to engage professionally with the soon-to-be largest economy in the world
- Facilitating new relationships with China by helping academic units translate documents, negotiate agreements, prepare documents, learn etiquette, and become versed on a range of issues with regards to Chinese politics, economy, culture, and higher education
- Developing major China initiatives that cross disciplines and interest areas
- Assisting the Confucius Institute to further promote Chinese language and culture throughout Maryland and Greater-Washington, D.C.
We hope that our website provides a welcome guide as you endeavor to deepen your ties with China—whether you're hosting a guest from China, planning to study abroad, or interested in learning more about our training program or existing MOUs. Contact us for help in developing further ties with China.
--Nathaniel Ahrens, Director of China Affairs