Sao-Ke Alfred Sze
(Chinese: 施肇基, Pinyin: Shī Zhàojī, Wade-Giles: Shih Chao-chi)
Sze was born in April 10th 1877. He became the first Chinese student to graduate from Cornell University. He returned to China to serve his country, working with the Peking government.
Dr. Sze, along with Foreign Minister W.W. Yen, C.T. Wang and Wellington Koo, was part of a Chinese delegation which traveled to the United States in the fall of 1921 to negotiate with the U.S. to impose a limitation of armaments on Japan and to de-escalate tensions over Japan's aggressive, expansionist activities in Shantung.
From 1921-1929, Sze was head of the Chinese legation to the U.S., representing the Peking Government and securing U.S. support to contain Japanese aggression in northern China. In January 1923, President Li Yuan-hung nominated Sze for the office of foreign minister, but of all the Cabinet nominations, Sze's alone was rejected by the legislature. In November 1928, Sze was appointed minister to Britain and delegate to the League of Nations. He was replaced in the legation to the U.S. by Dr. C.C. Wu.
In 1931, he was tapped as foreign minister again, but declined. At the time, he was actively representing the Republic of China 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 act, China would have no choice but to re-arm. The League failed to act, so in December 1931, he offered his resignation. His offer was declined and he remained at post.
In January 1933, he was designated minister to the United States once again. He presented his credentials in February 1933. In July 1935, after the United States and the Republic of China agreed to raise their diplomatic missions from legations to embassies, Sze became the first Chinese ambassador to the United States. He was succeeded by C.T. Wang in 1937.
Dr. Sze was a founding member of to the World Bank and was a member of the Advisory Council of the World Bank from 1947 to 1950.