What Is The Open Door Policy?

The Open Door Policy was an important foreign policy statement of the United States issued in 1899 and 1900 aimed at protecting the rights of all countries to equal trade with China and reaffirming the multinational recognition of China’s administrative and territorial sovereignty. US Secretary of State John Hay developed an open door policy in 1899/1900 to give the United States, Japan, and several European countries equal access to trade with China, a country that had no previous trade agreements.

Secretary of State John Hay’s proposal to provide free, open markets and equal business opportunities for businessmen of all ethnic groups operating in China is based in part on the MFN clause already established in the Wangxia and Tianjin treaties. These instructions assume that all countries should enjoy equal trade access with China and that no country should block the others. His secretary of state issued a notice in September 1899 to every country that gained a sphere of influence, asking them not to discriminate against other countries’ trade (keep their doors open) and not to interfere in the imposition of tariffs.

Influenced by British and American Chinese experts, on September 6, 1899, Secretary of State John Hay sent the first of the Open House Notes to other great powers with an interest in China, including Britain, France, Russia, Germany. Experts from British and American China believed that their countries’ economic interests in China would be best protected and served by a formal agreement between the European powers on the principle of keeping the doors open for trade and commerce. In other words, what the United States of America was suggesting to the European powers was that they should at least cooperate with each other in order to exploit China, a policy they pursued in the mid-19th century.

At first China wanted to close its doors, but now the European powers wanted to close China’s doors to other countries. Through this policy, many countries gained access to China, which led to an influx of foreigners to China. This was not easy, as other countries had large territories in China, which could make it difficult to access American goods in China. Previous treaties between Britain and China in 1842 and 1844 during the Opium Wars, when Britain militarily forced the Chinese Empire into accepting the import of Indian opium in exchange for its tea, imposed an “open door” policy.

The open door policy was the policy of China, the US, Japan, and several European powers that each of these countries should have equal access to Chinese trade. Fearing that they would lose the opportunity to trade with China’s lucrative markets if the European powers succeeded in carving up China, the United States introduced the “Open Door Policy”. Proposed policy of keeping China open to trade with all countries on an equal footing; consequently, no international power will have complete control over the country. In 1899, shortly after the end of the war with Spain, Secretary of State John Hay proclaimed an open door policy, asking the European powers that had recently divided China into trade spheres of influence to grant equal access to American exports.

As US Secretary of State John Hay stated in the “Open Door Memorandum” distributed to representatives of Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and Russia on September 6, 1899, the “Open Door” policy assumed that all nations should support freedom and equality. Access to all coastal trading ports in China as stipulated in the Treaty of Nanking, which ended the First Opium War in 1842. Open Door Notes In 1899, Secretary of State John Hay took a bold step by introducing Open Door Notes to gain access to the vast Chinese market for the United States. against other competitive forces. Specifically, Open Doors requires all countries to agree to maintain free passage to all of China’s ports of commerce, pay railway and port taxes (no special right of passage), and only allow China to collect any trade taxes within China. If agreed with the other five countries that have spheres of influence in China, the opening door note would destroy all spheres of influence and, in fact, would open the door to free trade without special tariffs or transport controls, thus allowing the countries with an unfair advantage over other countries.

The purpose of Hayes’ note is to ensure equal access to Chinese trade for all great powers, and to reduce the influence of countries that already have particularly strong influence in China, such as Japan and Russia, from coercing others. (especially the US) outside of the Chinese trade. The U.S. has recently gained a foothold in East Asia and is afraid of being squeezed out of the Chinese market by countries that have been in China longer than they have been in China, so they instituted open-door policies to ensure they don’t lose their skills to trade with China. The US didn’t want Japan to exclude them from China, so they started a diplomatic project to open up trade. While these notes serve U.S. purposes, China’s imperialist powers have little advantage in approving demands for self-renunciation policies in areas under their control.

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