124.936/12–1045: Telegram

The Chargé in China (Robertson) to the Secretary of State

2133. We were informed today by Vice Minister [for] Foreign Affairs Liu Chieh that, according to information received from Chinese Ambassador, Washington,39 no foreign Embassies in Washington [Page 1474] are allowed to operate radio stations as this is contrary to FCC40 regulations. (Embtel 2031, November 24.) Liu Chieh also said that British Embassy in China has requested permission for radio station but that British on their part have offered to allow Chinese to have station at their Embassy, London.

It would be helpful if Department would inform us whether any American Embassies abroad are allowed to operate radio stations; it is impression of some members of our staff this has been done. Also we would appreciate confirmation of Chinese Ambassador’s statement that foreign Embassies in Washington are not allowed to have stations.

With abolition of extraterritoriality and present strong Chinese nationalistic feeling, question of reciprocity seems to be determining factor in matter. Would Department be willing to allow Chinese Embassy, Washington, to install and operate radio station on condition our Embassy in China be granted similar privileges? Naval Attaché has already installed radio station in Embassy premises Nanking (in joint Military and Naval Attachés building). But it has not commenced operation pending decision of Chinese Govt on our request. For Department’s information, there is a Chinese Government radio station in Nanking and Chinese Government would probably maintain that this constitutes adequate facilities.

Department’s early instructions are requested.

  1. Wei Tao-ming.
  2. Federal Communications Commission.