“We Owe Nothing to Their Sensibilities”: Federal Telegraph, the Open Door, and the Washington System in 1920s China

  • Michael A. Krysko
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of the Media book series (PSHM)


Jacob Schurman, the American Minister to China, was elated when the Federal Telegraph Company of California reached an agreement with the Chinese government in January 1921. This agreement provided for the first radiotelegraphy link between China and the United States. “In more than one direction the present personnel of the Chinese government is anxious for a close understanding with the United States,” Schurman reported to Washington. The contract proposed building five stations, the main one in Shanghai and four low power stations in Harbin, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai. The prospective stations promised to be “an important agency of cooperation between the two governments and peoples,” Schurman claimed. “From all aspects, political, military, and commercial” the ebullient Minister concluded, “the conclusion of this contract is a cause for greatest satisfaction.”1


Chinese Government Open Door Open Door Policy Chinese Authority Federal Contract 
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  1. 3.
    For Reinsch’s support of Federal see Reinsch to the Secretary of State Robert Lansing, 27 March 1919, 893.74/18, DSNA 1910–29. For background on Reinsch, see Warren Cohen, The Chinese Connection and American-East Asian Relations (New York: Columbia University Press, 1978), 301; Iriye, Across the Pacific, 133–4Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Michael A. Krysko 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael A. Krysko
    • 1
  1. 1.Kansas State UniversityUSA

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