In November 1985, a delegation of civic, business and cultural leaders led by then-Baltimore Mayor William Donald Schaefer traveled to Xiamen, Fujian Province, China to establish a sister city relationship. In June 1986, Xiamen Mayor Zou Erjun reciprocated with a visit to Baltimore.
Two Mayors, Xiamen, November 1985
Since then, both cities have enjoyed a vibrant relationship with many visits and successful projects. As China's economic and political importance continues to grow, this relationship has become a key part of Baltimore's international strategy.
Baltimore City's Office of the Mayor and Baltimore Sister Cities, Inc. (a 501(c)(3) organization) jointly administer Baltimore’s sister cities programs. Like Baltimore’s other sister cities, the Xiamen relationship is managed directly by a committee of private-sector volunteers.
1985年秋，美国马里兰州巴尔的摩市市长William Donald Schaefer率领包括行政、经贸、教育、文化等方面精英的一行21人代表团访问中国厦门，与厦门正式结成了姐妹城市。1986年夏，厦门市市长邹尔均回访巴尔的摩市，两城市从此开始了充满活力、积极频繁的互访与项目合作。随着近年来中国在国际舞台上政治、经济影响力日益增强, 两市之间的姐妹城市关系也成为了巴尔的摩市国际战略的重要组成部分。
巴尔的摩市的各个姐妹城委员会均是由巴尔的摩市市长办公室及非营利组织 Baltimore Sister Cities, Inc.（巴尔的摩市姐妹城联合会）共同管理的。与巴尔的摩市的其它姐妹城市团体一样，巴尔的摩–厦门姐妹城委员会的运作是由民间与企业自愿者自发组成的。