America's Failure in China, 1941-50

By Tang Tsou | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER I

THE PRINCIPLES
OF THE
OPEN DOOR POLICY
AND
THE PATTERN OF
AMERICA'S
CHINA POLICY

A. The Convergence of Ideals and Interests

In September, 1899, Secretary of State John Hay dispatched the Open Door notes1 to Germany, Russia, England, Japan, Italy, and France, requesting formal assurances that they would refrain from interfering with any treaty port or any vested interest or the Chinese treaty tariff within their spheres of interest and that they would grant traders of all countries equality of treatment with respect to harbor dues and railroad charges.2 In July, 1900, during the Boxer Rebellion, he sent a circular to the powers, informing them that "the policy of the Government of the United States is to seek a solution which may bring about permanent safety and peace to China, preserve China's territorial and administrative entity, protect all rights guaranteed to friendly powers by treaty and international law, and safeguard for the world the principle of equal and

____________________
1
The phrase "the principles of the Open Door policy" is borrowed from Henry L. Stimson to denote the principle of equality of economic opportunity for all nations trading in China and the principle of territorial and administrative integrity of China. See Henry L. Stimson, The Far Eastern Crisis ( New York: Harper & Bros., 1936), p. 13. For the sake of brevity and convenience, the phrases "the principles of the Open Door" and "the Open Door principles" are also used. The phrase "the principle of the Open Door" or "Open Door" is employed to refer to the principle of equality of economic opportunity alone.
2
Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1899 ( Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1901), pp. 132-33.

-3-

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