In line with international practice and consular practice in China, the purpose of consular authentication (legalization) is to ensure that notarial deeds issued in one country can be acknowledged by relevant authorities in another country, and the deeds can have its due legal effect, which shall not be affected by doubts on the authenticity of the seal or signature on the deeds.
The Chinese Embassy is responsible for legalizing notarial deeds and other documents that have been duly authenticated by the U.S. Department of State; the Chinese Consulate-General is responsible for legalizing notarial deeds and other documents that have been duly authenticated by the Secretary of State of the state over which it holds consular jurisdiction.
All notarial deeds and other documents issued in the U. S. need to be legalized for intended use in China. Documents intended to be used in Hong Kong SAR or Macao SAR do NOT need authentication by the Chinese Embassy/Consulate General. However they need to be duly apostilled by the U.S. Department of State or the Secretary of the State where the document is issued.