Stanley K. Hornbeck and the Open Door Policy, 1919-1937

Stanley K. Hornbeck and the Open Door Policy, 1919-1937

Stanley K. Hornbeck and the Open Door Policy, 1919-1937

Stanley K. Hornbeck and the Open Door Policy, 1919-1937

Synopsis

Key to an understanding of many U.S. foreign policies, including the Open Door Policy, American extraterritoriality in China, the Stimson Doctrine, and the economic embargo against Japan, Hornbeck had more influence on policy toward Asia than any other official in the State Department from Wilson to FDR. In a book based on solid research of archival materials and the current literature in English and Chinese, Hu brings a Chinese perspective to an examination of Hornbeck's career and American policy in Asia. The book not only fills a vacuum in the study of Sino-American relations, but also corrects some traditional misperceptions and misinterpretations in the field.

Excerpt

Stanley K. Hornbeck occupied an important place in the history of U.S. relations with China in the twentieth century. He was "influential at the highest level in policy matters relating to the Far East, including policy toward Japan on the eve of Pearl Harbor. . . . Hornbeck had a key position as chiefly responsible for drafting state papers and initiating action in his field. The conduct of Far Eastern affairs . . . bore his strong imprint."

A Rhodes scholar, an instructor in Chinese colleges, and a professor at the University of Wisconsin and at Harvard, Hornbeck began his official career in 1919 as President Woodrow Wilson's Far Eastern Affairs Adviser at the Paris Peace Conference. At the Washington Conference (1921-1922), the Beijing Tariff Conference, and the Beijing Conference on Extraterritoriality (1925-1926), Hornbeck advised the American delegations. During these years he was also the private secretary for the American Minister to China,Charles Crane, and was one of the founders of the Institute of Pacific Relations, an international forum for discussion of regional issues among Pacific nations.

From 1928 to 1937, Stanley Hornbeck headed the Far Eastern (FE) Division of the U.S. Department of State. During his long tenure in that office, Hornbeck handled the negotiations on relinquishing American extraterritorial rights in China and dealt with the crisis caused by Japanese occupation of Manchuria. From 1937 to 1944, he was the State Department's Special Adviser on Political Affairs. Hornbeck played a key role in advocating and adopting economic sanctions against Japan and aid for China. Hornbeck ended his Far Eastern career in the Department in 1944; he left his post as the Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs to become the American Ambassador to the Netherlands.

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