Opium was such a commodity. The Portuguese had introduced opium into China in the early 16th century. Opium was however, known primarily for its medical properties and used in miniuscule quantities for certain types of medicines .
The Chinese were aware of the dangers of opium addiction and the Emperor had forbidden its production and sale except for medicinal purposes. But Western merchants in the mid-19th century began an illegal trade in opium.
Read the above passage and answer the following questions.
(a) What is opium? What are its uses?
(b) What lesson/values you have learnt from this passage?