John Edwards took up his position as British Consul-General Shanghai in June 2015. He leads the British Government’s engagement in East China: Shanghai, Zhejiang, Anhui and Jiangsu.
John has been with the Foreign and Commonwealth since 1996. In that year John was the Desk officer for Nuclear Weapons having graduated in 1995 from the University of Oxford with a Bachelor’s Degree in Ancient and Modern History.
Following a period of Mandarin language training at the University of Westminster and Beijing Normal University, he worked as Consul Political, Economic and Press at the British Consulate General Shanghai from 2000 to 2003.
John then spent four years in London - between 2003 and 2004 as the Head of Human Rights Policy and Projects, between 2004 and 2005 as the Head of Consular Policy, and between 2005 and 2007 as the Foreign Secretary’s Speechwriter. During that time he was also involved in the handling of several crises including the Asian Tsunami in 2004 and the Burma Crisis of 2007.
John was Deputy Consul General at the British Consulate General Jerusalem from 2008 to 2012. He returned to China in 2012, and worked at the British Embassy for four years as Minister Counselor (Prosperity) with the overall responsibility for UK-China policy collaboration on climate change, urbanisation, energy and healthcare, along with strategic oversight of the science and innovation network.
John is in China with his wife, Kate, who has degrees in Theology and Philosophy and teaches at an international school. Kate and John adopted their son, Leo, from Guangzhou in 2013. John is a keen runner and tries to run to and from work whenever possible.
Consul-General in Shanghai
The Consul General is the senior UK official in a Consulate General, which is a subordinate office to the Embassy or High Commission, usually located in another major city. The Consul General represents the UK government and is typically responsible for consular, visa and trade activities in their city or region.