Graph Convolutional Networks (GCNs) have received increasing attention in recent machine learning. How to effectively leverage the rich structural information in complex graphs, such as knowledge graphs with heterogeneous types of entities and relations, is a primary open challenge in the field. Most GCN methods are either restricted to graphs with a homogeneous type of edges (e.g., citation links only), or focusing on representation learning for nodes only instead of jointly optimizing the embeddings of both nodes and edges for target-driven objectives. This paper addresses these limitations by proposing a novel framework, namely the GEneralized Multi-relational Graph Convolutional Networks (GEM-GCN), which combines the power of GCNs in graph-based belief propagation and the strengths of advanced knowledge-base embedding methods, and goes beyond. Our theoretical analysis shows that GEM-GCN offers an elegant unification of several well-known GCN methods as specific cases, with a new perspective of graph convolution. Experimental results on benchmark datasets show the advantageous performance of GEM-GCN over strong baseline methods in the tasks of knowledge graph alignment and entity classification.