How did the British make the Chinese addicted to opium?

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#1

How did the British make the Chinese addicted to opium?
Answer:

  • The Portuguese had introduced opium into China where it was used for medical purposes in very small quantity.
  • The Chinese were aware of the danger of opium addiction and the Emperor had forbidden its production and sale except for medicinal purposes.
  • But the English began an illegal trade in opium.
  • It was unloaded in a number of seaports of south-eastern China and carried by local agents to the interiors.
  • While the English cultivated a taste for Chinese tea, the Chinese became addicted to opium.
  • People of all classes took to the drug—shopkeepers and peddlers, officials and army men, aristocrats and also the poor.
  • As China became a country of opium addicts, British trade in tea flourished.