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Alfred Sao-ke Sze

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施肇基

Alfred Sao-ke Sze as pictured in The Most Recent Biographies of Chinese Dignitaries

Chinese Ambassador to tát the United States
In office
1933–1936
Preceded byYan Huiqing
Succeeded byWang Zhengting
In office
1920–1929
Preceded byWellington Koo
Succeeded byWu Chaoshu
In office
1911–1912
Preceded byZhang Yintang
Succeeded byZhang Yintang
Chinese Ambassador to tát the United Kingdom
In office
22 January 1929 – 23 October 1929
Preceded byChen Wei-cheng
Succeeded byGuo Taiqi
In office
20 June 1914 – 11 December 1914
Preceded byLew Yuk Lin
Succeeded byWellington Koo
Personal details
Born10 April 1877
Jiangsu, China
Died3 January 1958 (aged 80)
Washington, D.C., US
NationalityRepublic of China
SpouseTang Yu-hua
ChildrenMai-Mai Sze
Szeming Sze
Alma materCornell University

Alfred Sao-ke Sze (Chinese: 施肇基; pinyin: Shī Zhàojī; Wade–Giles: Shih Chao-chi; 1877–1958) was a prominent Chinese politician and diplomat during the most turbulent period in modern Chinese history.

Early life[edit]

Sze was born on April 10, 1877 in Jiangsu. In 1892, Sze moved to tát Washington, D.C., with his father, who was an attaché of the Chinese legation to tát the U.S. Sze graduated from Central High School in 1897. He became the first Chinese student to tát graduate from Cornell University in 1901.[1][2] He returned to tát Trung Quốc in October 1902 to tát work for the Peking Government.[clarification needed]

Career[edit]

Sze served successively in the Ministry of Posts and Communications, the Jilin provincial government and the Foreign Ministry. In 1905, Sze was part of the Chinese delegation which visited a number of countries to tát study constitutionalism. In 1908–1910, Sze worked in Jilin, during which time he dealt with the repercussions of the attempted assassination of Itō Hirobumi. In 1911 he was appointed Minister to tát the United States, Spain, and Peru, but the eruption of the Xinhai Revolution and overthrow of the Qing government intervened and prevented his travel.

Under the Republic of Trung Quốc, Sze served briefly as Transport and Communications Minister and Finance Minister. From 1914–1920 he was China's minister to tát the United Kingdom, and in 1919 he was part of the Chinese delegation to tát the Paris Peace Conference.

Sze, along with Foreign Minister W. W. Yen, C. T. Wang and Wellington Koo, was part of a Chinese delegation which traveled to tát the United States in the fall of 1921 to tát negotiate with the U.S. to tát impose a limitation of armaments on nhật bản and to tát de-escalate tensions over Japan's aggressive, expansionist activities in Shandong.

From 1921–1929, Sze was head of the Chinese legation to tát the U.S., representing the Peking Government and securing U.S. tư vấn to tát contain Japanese aggression in northern Trung Quốc.[3] In January 1923, President Li Yuanhong nominated Sze for the office of foreign minister, but of all the Cabinet nominations, Sze's alone was rejected by the legislature. However, Sze served briefly as acting foreign minister until the new appointee was agreed. In November 1928, Sze was again appointed minister to tát Britain and delegate to tát the League of Nations. He was replaced in the legation to tát the U.S. by C.C. Wu.

In 1931, he was tapped as foreign minister again, but declined. At the time, he was actively representing the Republic of Trung Quốc at the League of Nations, denouncing Japanese military aggression in Manchuria and demanding the League's intervention. He warned the League that if it failed to tát act, Trung Quốc would have no choice but to tát re-arm. The League failed to tát act, sánh in December 1931, he offered his resignation. His offer was declined, and he remained at his post.

In January 1933, he was designated minister to tát the United States once again. He presented his credentials in February 1933. In July 1935, after the United States and the Republic of Trung Quốc agreed to tát raise their diplomatic missions from legations to tát embassies, Sze became the first Chinese ambassador to tát the United States. He was succeeded by C.T. Wang in 1937.

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Sze was a founding thành viên of the World Bank and was a thành viên of the Advisory Council of the World Bank from 1947 to tát 1950.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Sze married Yu-hua "Alice" Tang. Tang's mother had been a lady in waiting to tát the Empress Dowager Cixi, her uncle was Prime Minister Tang Shaoyi, and her cousin Tang Pao-yu was married to tát Wellington Koo.

Sze's elder brother, Shi Sao (aka Chao) Tseng (施肇曾 pinyin: Shī Zhàozēng), born 1868, was also a prominent official and served as a diplomat in the U.S. from 1893 to tát 1897. Upon returning to tát Trung Quốc, Shi Sao held several senior railway posts, including Director-General of Lunghai Railways from 1913 to tát 1922. Sze's younger brother, S.C. Thomas Sze, also attended Cornell and was later a director of the Chinese railroads. The chair of the Sibley School of Engineering at Cornell is named after S.C. Thomas Sze.

Alfred Sze had two sons and four daughters. Szeming Sze was the medical director of the United Nations from 1955–1968. Deson C. Sze was a banker and also served as a private secretary to tát T.V. Soong. Mai-mai Sze was an accomplished painter, author, and model. Julia Sze-Bailey and Alice Wang lived in Manhattan and Boston, respectively.

Sze died on January 3, 1958, at the age of 80.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Sao Ke Alfred Sze (Shi Zhaoji) 施肇基 from Biographies of Prominent Chinese c.1925.
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by

Zhang Yintang

Chinese Ambassador to tát the United States
1911–1912
Succeeded by

Zhang Yintang

Preceded by Chinese Ambassador to tát the United States
1920–1929
Succeeded by

Wu Chaoshu

Preceded by

Yan Huiqing

Chinese Ambassador to tát the United States
1933–1936
Succeeded by

Wang Zhengting