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Pacific Exchange: China and U.S. Mail


Open March 6, 2014 – January 4, 2015  at Smithsonian's National Postal Museum

Today, China and the United States are the world's two largest economies, major powers that often cooperate strategically. They also share a complicated history. The two have been World War II allies and Cold War enemies, partners and rivals.


Using mail and stamps, Pacific Exchange brings a human scale to Chinese-U.S. relations in three areas: commerce, culture, and community. The exhibit focuses on the 1860s to the 1970s, a time of extraordinary change in China. It also explores Chinese immigration to the United States, now home to four million Chinese Americans.


Most Chinese names and locations in this exhibit are written in the modern pinyin style (for example, Beijing instead of Peking), with some exceptions.


The Chinese panels are written in simplified Chinese.


China (Taiwan/Formosa) postage stamp

Commerce: The Qing Dynasty


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5c Chinese Resistance die proof

Commerce: The Republic of China


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15c Curtiss Jenny over Great Wall airmail trial color proof

Commerce: The Chinese Bureau of Engraving and Printing


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8f Entire Nation Is Red stamp, 1968

Commerce: The People's Republic of China


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$6 National Stadium, Beijing 2008 XXIX Olympic Games stamp

Culture: Global Exchange


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29c Black-Necked Crane stamp, 1994

Culture: Postal Connections


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China Route postmark

Community: Chinese in America


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8f Year of the Monkey stamp, China, 1980

Community: Lunar New Year Stamps


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