APUS China Banning Opium Trade Discussion

APUS China Banning Opium Trade Discussion

Do not include statements such as great work, or excellent post. Try to include information that is challenging and respectful and that will stimulate debate. Additionally, please remember that simply posting the main post and a student colleague response post does not end the forum; the discussion forum should be dialogue that is continual until the Sunday deadline. Also, be mindful of including references and citations whenever citing facts to support your position.

The student response posts 300 words and 1 reference for support is also the minimal expectation; this does not mean by meeting the minimal expectation that you will be awarded an “A.” This is a Master’s Degree program and course and the award of maximum credit is reserved only for those posts that are exemplary!

Also the content of the Forum Assignment will often ask the student to take a position on a particular topic. However, this is not a strict opinion paper in which you the student can just make a statement of what you think or what your experiences are on a topic. Instead, the student needs to support their opinion or experiences with qualifying research from academic source. APA 6th edition citations and references must be used always!

Hence, do not include statements such as great work, or excellent post. Try to include information that is challenging and respectful and that will stimulate debate. Additionally, please remember that simply posting the main post and a student colleague response post does not end the forum; the discussion forum should be dialogue that is continual until the Sunday deadline. Also, be mindful of including references and citations whenever citing facts to support your position.

Respond to:

As most of us know from last weeks reading, the First Opium War took place from 1839 to 1842 where China’s prohibitions on opium imports led to its defeat and therefore forced to sign treaties opening many ports to foreign trade (Perdue, 2011). As opium became more available to the Chinese, the price was significantly lower and therefore its consumption rose, leading to an addicted society. In order to understand how hostilities between Western traders and China began, we must first understand the roots. According to this week’s readings, the Qing Dynasty regulated trade between Western traders and China by only allowing them to trade through the southern port of Canton. The restrictions did not end there, the merchants could only stay in the city for a limited amount of time and in limited spaces, they were also intensely supervised and limited to trading with a monopoly guild of Chinese merchants (Perdue 2011). Once the monopoly vanished, sales and profits of merchants were augmented by much higher levels of production. In order to prevent potential competition from Turkey and Persia who were also attempting to penetrate the Chinese market with the help of US merchants, the production of opium in India then was drastically increased. The area used for opium poppy cultivation in Bengal (India), for instance, was increased from about 36,400 hectares in 1830 to 71,200 hectares by 1840 and close to 200,000 hectares by 1900 (A Century of International Drug Control, 2008). Despite the Chinese opium ban opium exports from India to China rose from just 75 metric tons in 1775 to just under 300 metric tons by 1800 and more than 2,500 metric tons by 1839. The opium trade became so important that traditional ships were no longer enough to bear the volume of the flow.

By the time the 1830s came around, what came to be known as “opium clippers”, which were fast sailing vessels were used to transfer opium throughout the coast. Qing continued with prohibitions pushing merchants from ports along the coast, which pushed merchants to Lintin island which was beyond the jurisdiction of local officials. Here, opium shipments were received from India and dispersed by Chinese junks and rowboats to other harbors. Western powers help spread the use of Opium and China by building up a dependency not only for the users, but also for private merchants who became dependent on opium revenue for survival. As a chain reaction, foreign traders who smuggled opium bribed local officials, and secret societies and peddlers all became part of the drug trade. Even worse, as reported by Perdue, by the 1830’s most of the government officials and Qing military forces were addicts of opium, which also eventually led to the outflows of silver from the country (Perdue 2011). In an attempt to control the spread of opium in the country, the Chinese emperor ordered the seizure and burn of opium, which resulted in the loss of 20,283 chests, which are approximately equal to 1,200 metric tons of opium. The British responded by attacking the Chinese coast, which of course the Chinese lost, and were forced to sign the Treaty of Nanking in 1842, leading to more ports being home to foreign trade (A Century of International Drug Control, 2008).

Question 2

It is a known fact that our country and other nations overall do not become involved in international dilemmas unless there is a likelihood that the latter will creep inside its borders. If we take the Golden Triangle of Southeast for instance, where drug traffickers move narcotics through Guanxi and Guangdong provinces to Hong Kong and Macau which serve as a drug collection and distribution point to international markets such as the US and Europe (Huang, Liu, Zhao, Zhao, & Friday, 2010). Clearly, now the tables have changed, while the West was previously responsible for the increase in opium consumption in China, it is China now who is in the center of both legal and illegal immigration to the US that has also facilitated drug trafficking into the country. Truth be told, we cannot expect for a country to became deeply rooted in opium as a economic dependency to turn around and eliminate it as a source entirely. The Golden Triangle mentioned above is estimated to provide 73% of the global supply of opium, which of course China is in the center of (Huang et al. 2010). Research by Huang et al., has reported that Chinese customs authorities tend to focus on entering goods and people in an attempt to monitor drug trafficking, while being more careless in their departure checks. Hong Kong and Macau customs, on the other hand, tend to be less careful with people and goods that just left China, assuming the chances of smuggling are low since they have just been examined by the Chinese authorities previously (Huang el at. 2010).

While Chinese supporters have asked how what China is doing now is any different than what the west did to China in the early years, the question is one that can be tackled in different forms. From my perspective and with the readings from last week and this week as support, there simply was not as much awareness of the medical impacts of opium during the 1700’s and 1800’s, this ignorance or lack of knowledge led to addiction. Therefore, I do not believe that such an argument merits a comparison. This is especially not the case as Chinese officials and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), have had antidrug policies since it was established in 1920, even then by 1949, it is estimated that China has over 20 million drug addictions within its borders (Lu & Liang, 2008). The argument proposed also does not merit a comparison as opium was in its infancy when Westerners pushed for its import and export, now, more dangerous narcotics such as heroin are on the rise. For example, the growing use of Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is now considered the most dangerous illegal drug in American and can be shipped from China easily and is also cheaper to purchase, making that much more catastrophic in consumption. The growing use of Fentanyl and its demand is exemplified in the ring bust made by the U.S. DEA in November 2019 in China , which found 11.9 kilograms of fentanyl, which is enough to kill 6 million people (Chappell, 2019). Such as shift in preference has also led to an escalation in deaths due to AID/HIV, which is directly associated with intravenous drug use.

Reference

A Century of International Drug Control. (2008). Retrieved from https://www.unodc.org/documents/wdr/WDR_2008/WDR20…

Chappell, B. (2019, November 7). Fentanyl Trafficking: China Jails 9 In Case That Began With A U.S. Tip : NPR. Retrieved March 9, 2020, from https://www.npr.org/2019/11/07/777173066/china-jai…

Huang, K., Liu, J., Zhao, R., Zhao, G., & Friday, P. C. (2010). Chinese Narcotics Trafficking. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology56(1), 134–152. https://doi.org/10.1177/0306624X10389776

Lu, H., & Liang, B. (2008). Legal Responses to Trafficking in Narcotics and Other Narcotic Offenses in China. International Criminal Justice Review18(2), 212–228. https://doi.org/10.1177/1057567708318480

Perdue, P. C. (2011). The First Opium War The Anglo-Chinese War of 1839-1842. MIT Visualizing Cultures. Retrieved from https://visualizingcultures.mit.edu/opium_wars_01/…