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Joseph H. Greene's Letters and Reports from Beijing, 1984-1987

Identifier: HC.MC-840

Scope and Contents

Letters: The letters begin with an explanatory essay, somewhat in the form of a diary entry beginning in January 1984, giving the details of Joseph Greene's arrival in Beijing via Hong Kong and the official work that needed to be done in order for him to start his job, as well as a detailed description of his daily life and the people who worked with him. Each of the letters, directed to various people, likely friends, provides a different facet of life or a specific event in Beijing or travel to another part of China. In particular, there is some information about Chinese politics and government, trade issues, and some about his work, travel, friends, acquaintances, and daily life, particularly visiting places in Beijing and cultural life. The final set of letters, June-December 1987, includes some photographs, including the Bank of America building in Beijing and one of Greene, along with a newspaper article that gives few details about Greene.

Reports: These are monthly reports provided by Joseph H. Greene as Vice-President and Representative of Bank of America in Beijing. The reports begin on December 31, 1983 and continue through September 1987. They provide a variety of types of information about China, including economic and political commentary on a broad scale as well as internal information about the company, including marketing, personnel, and other information. Examples of economic data include oil and cotton production, trade, competition from other banks, research, as in animal husbandry or reforestation; political topics include Premier Zhao Ziyang's trip to the U.S. and Canada and a visit by the U.S. president and the U.S.-China nuclear agreement and the 1986-90 five-year plan and the fall of Hu Yao Bang; marketing topics reflect the vast networking of Bank of America with other banks; personnel topics reflect travel related to bank business and visitors from other banks. Attached to these reports often are newspaper clippings from local newspapers, especially China Daily relating to bank business.


  • 1984 - 1987

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Biographical / Historical

Joseph H. Greene (1930-2020) was a member of the Haverford College class of 1952 who majored in political science. After college he went to Japan and realized his great interest in Asia. He spent a brief time at an Italian University and then received an M.A. in East Asian studies at New York University while working in the international department of the Bank of America in N.Y. The bank sent him to their Singapore office in late 1960, then to Ho Chi Minh City in 1968, followed by Jakarta until mid-1970, then Singapore for another 3 years. In 1973, he moved to back to the United States before being dispatched to China. Greene became the Vice President and Representative of Bank of America in Beijing, China. (information from a letter from Greene in this collection dated Sept. 21, 1987)


2 boxes (2 boxes)




Letters and monthly reports from Beijing, China from 1984-1987 by Joseph H. Greene who was a Bank of America Vice-President and Representative. The papers record economic, political, and cultural issues in China at the end of the 1980s.


This collection is arranged in two series: Letters and Reports.

Processing Information

Original processing information unknown.

Joseph H. Greene's Letters and Reports from Beijing, China, 1984-87
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