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Chronicle of anti-drug events of China (4)

(People's Daily Online)

17:33, January 13, 2013

In 1837, the British merchants transported about 39,000 boxes of opium to China.

In 1838, the British merchants transported 40,200 boxes of opium to China. Calculating at 50 kilograms per box, they brought a total of 2 million kilograms of opium to China, about per capita 5 grams calculating according to 400 million people.

Lin Zexu was summoned to Beijing on Dec. 26, 1838. He was called in eight times by Emperor Daoguang in 13 days and appointed as the imperial commissioner.

By 1839, the British merchants smuggled a total of more than 630,000 boxes of opium to China, earning 600 million silver dollars, which resulted in a serious shortage of silver in China.

On Jan. 8, 1839, Lin departed for Guangdong after being appointed as the imperial commissioner.

On March 10, 1839, Lin came to Guangzhou with the official seal issued by Emperor Daoguang and the military leadership of Guangdong navy, beginning world-famous anti-opium activity. Lin once destroyed more than 20,000 boxes of opium in Humen town, accounting for more than half of the opium smuggled to China. Lin won the unprecedented victory in the history of anti-opium and first pushed the anti-opium activity of China to a new high. The destruction of opium in Humen was the great starting point of anti-imperialist and patriotic struggle and also a brilliant chapter in China's history of anti-drug. In this sense, Lin was not only an anti-opium hero but also the first anti-imperialist and patriotic hero in the modern history of China.

In June 1839, the Qing government promulgated the "Imperial Ordinance on Anti-Opium," which listed 39 clauses and covered all the provisions had released by Qing dynasty on anti-opium. It was the first comprehensive anti-opium code in the history of China. It clearly stated that the opium addicts must kick the habit in one year and a half (the term for eunuchs was three months), otherwise they will be sentenced to be hanged, no matter officials or ordinary people. This code included anti-opium program and planning.

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