Will there be any issues if I apply for a Chinese visa as a former citizen, without my old Chinese passport?
Also, if I hand my old Chinese passport to the Consulate, can they guarantee that my passport is returned to me?
Nope and nope. If you are a former Chinese citizen, you are not allowed to have a Chinese passport. If you want to apply for a visa, you have to hand over your Chinese passport, and you probably won't see it again... But one thing I have experienced with Chinese consulates is that there's the policy, and the way it is applied. It seems like not two Chinese consulates function the same.
Remember that a passport is never your property, but the government's. It is put at your disposal for a set period of time, and set of conditions. If the period expires, or the conditions are not met anymore (loss of citizenship) then you have to hand it over.
From the Chinese Embassy in the USA's website:
- Photocopy of previous Chinese passports or previous Chinese visas (applicable to foreign citizens who were Chinese citizens and have obtained foreign citizenship)
If you are applying for a Chinese visa for the first time, you should provide your previous Chinese passport held and a photocopy of its data page.
If you have obtained Chinese visas before and want to apply for a Chinese visa with a renewed foreign passport that does not contain any Chinese visa, you should present the photocopy of the previous passport's data page and the photo page if it is separate, as well as the previous Chinese visa page. (If your name on the current passport differs from that on the previous one, you must provide an official document of name change.)