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National Resistance

(People's Daily Online)

19:58, December 27, 2012

Anti-drug history from the Qing Dynasty to the Period of Republic of China

After the bourgeois revolution, the United Kingdom became a strong power rapidly, and it started to take opium smuggling as an important method to open up the Chinese market and exploit wealth since 1727. From the 5th year of Emperor Yongzheng's reign (in 1727) when the British East India Company exported opium to Guangzhou for sale for the first time, till the late 1820s, the United Kingdom had transported more than 10,000 boxes of opium per year to China through the Company. Only in 1838, the the British traders shipped 2.01 million Kg opium to China, equivalent to over 5g per person for total 400 million Chinese people for the time.

The Qing government being aware of the Opium invasion for long had taken a series of measure to stop them. From the reign of Emperor Kangxi till the reign of Emperor Daoguang, each of the former emperors had promulgated appropriate measures to ban opium. The world's first anti-drug order and anti-drug penal statute--- Regulation on Anti-opium was introduced as early as the reign of Emperor Yongzheng. It was Lin Zexu who vigorously pushed the anti-opium campaign advocated by the Qing government to a new high.

With the official seal awarded personally by the Emperor, Lin Zexu led his troops---Guangdong Fleet to Guangzhou to perfom his successfully immortalized feat on March 10, 1839. The anti-opium campaign led by Lin Zexu in Guangzhou Province, as the grand climax of China's first anti-opium campaign, marked a glorious chapter in the Chinese anti-opium history. In fact, the anti-drug campaign led by Lin Zexu in Guangzhou Province was the first large-scale defense directly against foreign opium traffickers since the Qing dynasty. Facts proved that only by combining anti-opium campaigns with fights against aggression and the chief culprit---the colonialist opium traffickers, can we made achievement in anti-opium campaign. Lin Zexu once destroyed and burned more than 20,000 boxes of opium in Humen, accounting for more than half of the total opium in China, and achieved unprecedented victory in anti-drug history. It was precisely his combining anti-opium campaigns with the fights against aggression that had made brilliant achievements. Therefore, the "burning of opium stocks in Humen beach" is widely regarded as the great starting point of the Chinese people's anti-imperialist patriotic struggle in modern times.

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