12/12/05 - opium wars

In today's excerpt - Great Britain sells opium:

"Great Britain attacked China in 1839 to promote British narcotics trafficking, launching the first of the Opium Wars of 1839-42 to force China to open up trade. Among other things, Britain insisted that China agree to the importation of opium that British commercial interests were producing and trading in India. British policy makers were interested in China's vast market, including solving the conundrum of how to pay for Britain's national craze: Chinese tea. The solution was ingenious and utterly destructive. Britain would sell opium to China and earn the wherewithal to purchase China's tea. It is as if Colombia waged war with the United States today for the right to sell cocaine."


Jeffrey D. Sachs


The End of Poverty: economic possibilities for our time


The Penguin Group


Copyright 2005 by Jeffery D. Sachs


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