American Radio in China: International Encounters with by Michael A. Krysko

By Michael A. Krysko

Interwar period efforts to extend US radio into China floundered within the face of unsuitable US rules and techniques. located on the intersection of media reviews, expertise reports, and US international kinfolk, this examine frames the ill-fated radio projects as symptomatic of an more and more stricken US-East Asian courting earlier than the Pacific struggle.

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Extra resources for American Radio in China: International Encounters with Technology and Communications, 1919–41

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Against this backdrop, China’s deepening domestic difficulties and increasing political disorder of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries encouraged a pattern of Western imperialist economic and political expansion into China. In contrast to the other powers, however, the US policy toward China promoted open access to that country’s potentially lucrative markets at the expense of the quasicolonial and exclusionary arrangements preferred by its rivals. 6 Open Door economic policies, however, could not stop a century of deteriorating economic and social conditions compounded by expanding Western imperialism that had left China in disarray by the twentieth century.

While both the United States and Japan publicly claimed their adherence to the cooperative framework established by the Washington System, neither party signaled any willingness to adjust their opposing positions on Federal. The Chinese nationalism that threatened Federal continued to strengthen. RCA’s public commitment to Schwerin’s Federal project camouflaged growing doubts about the logic of continuing the partnership. At mid- decade, Federal Telegraph’s China ambitions were perilously close to demise.

15 Obata’s defense of Mitsui against Federal reflected China’s centrality to Japan’s foreign policy. Adding further urgency to the Mitsui situation was that Japan’s rapidly expanding electrical communications manufacturing industries demanded new export markets. As a relative latecomer to industrialization and imperialism, many Japanese leaders believed that they had to exploit Japan’s proximity to China to “catch up” to the West. Manchuria figured prominently in these calculations. A Japanese “sphere of influence” in China’s northeast, Manchuria also provided essential mineral resources such as coal and iron that fueled Japan’s expanding economy.

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