Opium trade

opium trade

After the 18th century Western colonialists entered illegally smuggling opium trade to China and forced China to recognize the import of opium trade. As a large number of opium hobby goods enter China, it began in the 17th century. In 1773 the British East India Company opium direct business, opened a prelude to the real opium trade. This trade is a limit to the Opium War, is divided into two periods.

Before the Opium War, the Qing government has repeatedly enacted smoking Zhaoyu, but the East India Company or the British Indian opium sold to private merchants in India, from the port of Guangzhou foot boats transported into sales, or through the bureau at the port transit outside the barges and then transported into mainland China. Meanwhile, traders also opium smuggling bribes to Chinese officials. Through these methods, the opium smuggling trade development in fast before the Opium War. After the British East India Company monopoly canceled, more opium into China. British and American traders initially to Guangzhou trading, barter limited range, the output of silk and tea from China, is mainly used for import by cash purchases, and later sell large amounts of cash can be obtained opium to pay for silk, tea and other goods price. After the number of opium imports surged, the Western colonialists opium sales income of more than catered need cash return of goods, while trade deficit with China into cash from the cash surplus. Due to the number of silver outflow surge in the price of silver rising trend and falling money money price parity appears. A large number of opium, not only the millions of poor Chinese people infected hobby, physically and mentally severely poisoned, but also to make China's national economic and social suffer significant financial damage and loss.

19 end of the 1930s, China except for a few gainers trafficking in opium smuggling, including the ruling class, including all classes are against domestic opium imports. Therefore, Daoguang nineteen years (1839) the first month of the Qing government sent Commissioner Lin arrived in Guangzhou, the implementation of strict non-smoking edict. But the British refused to accept the provisions of the Chinese side, and finally the British government has to curb the trade, harm British subjects started the Opium War of aggression against China as an excuse.

unequal treaties

After the Opium War in 1842 forced China concluded "Treaty of Nanking" and "Humen Treaty", the British colonialists made to open the gateway to China needed all the conditions. British invaders in peace negotiations repeated attempts to legalize the opium trade in China with threats and inducements method. After the failure of such activities, it is allowed to continue smuggling opium merchant, be sheltered and thereby to force China into submission. After the war of the opium trade, Hong Kong-smuggling base, the various ports along the coast south of the Yangtze can be used as smuggling stronghold; unequal treaties signed more new illegal smuggling activities to legal protection. Therefore, a larger its size, activities and more rampant. In 1858, Britain and France and other countries forced China to sign the "Treaty of Commerce rehabilitation" in the provisions of opium in the name of "modern medicine" imported from opium has been used as a legitimate import goods, marketing in China for nearly 60 years. The main problem is just the opium trade in the amount of the tax debate.

Patriotic Movement in the early 20th century, opposed the use of opium and other drugs are also an important element. Tough on Drugs has become a consistent public opinion at home and abroad.


opium has a small input early in the Tang Dynasty, Ming Yuan tribute in Southeast Asia in this matter also, but are used as a medicine. Western colonial powers trafficking opium to China, the earliest Portugal and the Netherlands, as a stronghold for them to enter Macau to China. By the late 18th century, the British need for Chinese silk and tea growing, while its industrial products, it is difficult to find a market in natural economy dominated by China. In order to reverse the trade balance must be offset in cash situation, the British businessmen to actively develop and poison the Chinese people's opium trade.

1757, the British occupation of India, Bangladesh origin of opium, the British East India Company in 1773 made the opium monopoly, the monopoly of opium in 1797 and manufacturing rights. In the manipulation of this institution, the British opium trade in China has developed rapidly. After entering the 19th century, the British shipped opium China gradually increased, increases from year to three or four thousand boxes of a 20 000 TEU per year. Meanwhile, the US businessman also a large number of trafficking opium to China.

From the early 19th century, the number of opium merchants of various countries over the years into China estimates listed in the following table: where British businessman trafficking for the bulk, followed by American businessman. American businessman opium trafficking is mainly produced in Turkey ﹑ Persia. In 1806 to 1834, according to customs figures narrowed, American businessman transported from Turkey to Guangzhou, a total of 8901 boxes of opium.

enormous profit

opium trade to the Anglo-American bourgeoisie has brought huge profits. In 1817, a box of Indian crow "public class soil" cost only two to three hundred rupees, the auction price in India is Rs 1785, selling price in China up to 2618 rupees, therefore, the transport of Indian opium into China is seen as a shortcut to get rich Way. Jardine Matheson ﹑ Sassoon and other foreign companies are opium trafficking started. The opium trade deficit with Britain changed the status of trade with China, an opium alone, all will be close to offsetting the value of imports from China. The opium trade but also for the government of British India increased a huge income. 1829 opium tax more than 1 million pounds, accounting for the British Indian government revenues 1/10. British merchants smuggled opium proceeds, the input of tea from China to the United Kingdom, the British government increased taxes every year hundreds of pounds of tea. British bourgeoisie side forced Indian farmers to grow opium, exports to China, the Indian side of the ED dumping large quantities of cotton textiles, the use of opium income of farmers in India, find a way out for the British industrial products.

bring disaster to China as early as in 1729 the Qing government had prohibited the importation of opium, the Qing court to enter in 1796, better outflow of silver, affecting people's livelihood, again issued an edict prohibiting opium. However, foreign opium traders in support of their governments, to take smuggling and arms smuggling means the destruction of the Qing government ban, but also by way of bribery, buying mandarins, making the opium trade is unimpeded.

serious disaster

opium trade to China has brought serious disaster. A large amount of opium entrance changed the Chinese position in the international balance of payments, from the Chinese trade surplus into a trade deficit, the difference shall be paid trade on a large number of silver per year. After the mid-1820s, silver outflow became a regular phenomenon, and the figure is growing, 1826 ~ 1827 silver outflow was estimated at 3.5 million two silver 30s average outflow up to two Wuliubaiwan year, Silver Expensive the growing phenomenon. Chinese farmers sell agricultural products that come coins, but must pay taxes with silver. Silver Expensive greatly increased the burden on farmers, spurred rising prices, but also exacerbated the financial crisis, the Qing government. Chinese opium poison, taking on the public body and mind of the people was seriously destroyed. Due to the large amount of money on the consumption of opium, the people growing poverty, social purchasing power decline.

two Opium Wars in 1838 and its outcome, taken care of Temple Qing Huang Jue Zi (1793 - 1853) and so called upon to stop the opium trade, the Viceroy Lin (1785 - 1850) also stressed that: "If Utah vent to vent as the, after the decades, almost no Central Plains can resist the enemy soldiers, and can not charge rates of silver "(" Lin set. Memorials "). Qing government in order to safeguard the interests of feudal rule, the following year again ordered strictly prohibited, and Lin was sent to Guangdong imperial minister investigated. June 1839 in Humen Lin publicly burned more than 20,000 chests of opium in the Anglo-American tobacconists. Britain moved for Opium War broke out (1840 - 1842).


Foreign opium smuggling more rampant. 1842 ~ 1849 average annual imports of 33,000 boxes, 1850 ~ 1854, increased to more than 50400 cases per annum, 1855 ~ 1859 and increased to more than 64200 boxes every year. Only 10 years after the Opium War, silver outflows were as high as 150 million more than two. In the Second Opium War (1856 - 1860), the Qing government was forced to sign in 1858 with the British ﹑ ﹑ the United States and France "trade regulations aftermath Treaty" permitted foreign sales of opium in the treaty ports, and a "prohibitive sign." the name, agreed to "foreign agents" nominal tax, the tax per hundred pounds of silver 30 two, from opium have become legitimate imports. Enter the amount of opium will surge in 1863 ~ 1864 to 69800 Tam, 1879 will increase to more than 104,900 Tam, then its value is equal to half of the total value of imports of foreign goods.

After the Sino-Japanese War, foreign capitalism in China commodity output increase, opium is no longer a means to balance the trade deficit, and China ﹑ Sichuan and Yunnan and other places are also a large number of private opium, together with the Chinese people strongly condemns and firmly opposes the international public opinion, gradually reduce the number of opium imports. 1899 59000 Tam, Tam 50,000 in 1909, to 1921 reduced to 333 quintals.

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