Matthew Rous took up his appointment as HM Consul-General Guangzhou on 21 December 2014. He leads the British Government’s engagement in the six provinces of the South China region: Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Hunan and Jiangxi.
Matthew has been a career diplomat since 1991. Between 1992 and 1994, he studied Mandarin Chinese full-time at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and subsequently at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing. His first diplomatic assignment was as Head of Hong Kong Affairs and Press Officer at the British Embassy Beijing from 1994 to (very precisely) 1 July 1997.
Matthew’s other diplomatic postings have included Tokyo (Head of Consumer Goods and Services), Brussels (Deputy Head of Mission), Jakarta (Deputy Head of Mission) and Baku (Interim Head of Mission). He also served as Head of IT Programmes and Portfolio Director at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 2010 to 2013. In the latter role Matthew graduated from the Major Projects Leadership Academy at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School.
Matthew’s personal passions include travelling and learning about the world’s languages and cultures. He studied French, Russian and Linguistics at Churchill College, Cambridge, before four years with Japanese companies in the private sector. He first visited China in 1987. He speaks approximately eight languages, mostly quite badly. He hopes to do better with Cantonese, which he is now studying.
Consul-General in Guangzhou
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.