Philately—the study of stamps and postal history—offers many glimpses of Chinese-U.S. relations. The countries have collaborated on philately and stamp design, including a joint issue of stamps in 1994. In both nations, stamp enthusiasts also publish research, join societies, exchange ideas, and form international friendships, in part through major global stamp exhibitions. The Chinese and U.S. postal services also work closely to ensure better service between the two countries and around the world.
The endangered North American whooping crane and Chinese black-necked crane appear on stamps jointly issued in 1994 by China and the U.S., advancing wildlife conservation as they represent friendship. Artists at the Clarence Lee Design Studio in Honolulu developed eight concept designs; Chinese nature artist Zhan Gengxi created the final artwork, influenced by one of the concept designs.
Loan courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General’s Collection
Vermont postmaster Gordon Hipko and his wife Lan Xiang Hipko visited her family in Beijing in 2000. While there, Gordon met a Chinese letter carrier, Zhang Fu Cheng. The two spent the day at China Post and shared carrier stories before exchanging caps.
Theodore Siddall was the first American member of the Shanghai Philatelic Society, the oldest stamp club in China. It met at the Kalee Hotel, site of the U.S. consulate and post office from 1933 to 1936.
International stamp exhibitions offer philatelists from China and the United States, as well as other countries, a chance to share their knowledge and passion for stamps and mail, exhibit collections, and find new acquisitions. The Universal Postal Union, which currently includes 192 countries, sets the rules for international mail exchanges.