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Wat was Rusland se betrokkenheid by die Opium -oorloë?


Die Opiumoorloë is veroorsaak deur Chinese pogings om te keer dat westerse handelaars opium na China bring gedurende die 19de eeu. Opium, wat hoofsaaklik deur die Britte en Franse ingevoer is, was sosiaal en ekonomies verwoestend vir die Chinese. Ongeveer 25% van hul manlike bevolking was teen 1839 verslaaf aan die dwelm.

Die swak militêre leër van China het beteken dat hulle in beide konflikte verslaan is, en dat die Britse en Franse streng verdragte opgelê het. Die Eerste Opiumoorlog het byvoorbeeld daartoe gelei dat Hong Kong 'vir ewig' aan Brittanje afgestaan ​​is; die Tweede Opiumoorlog het veroorsaak dat opium in China gewettig is.

Anders as Brittanje en Frankryk, word Rusland se betrokkenheid by die Opium -oorloë dikwels oor die hoof gesien. Hulle uitbuiting van China se swakheid en hul diplomatieke vaardighede het hulle egter hul grootste hawe aan die Stille Oseaan -kus besorg: Vladivostok.

Professor Andrew Lambert het 'n landdrosgeskiedenis van seestroomstate geskryf en die instrumente en metodes om dit te beheer. Van die Atheners tot die Britte, Lambert bespreek die manier waarop state seemagte geword het, en bied insig oor of seemagte op dieselfde manier kan bestaan ​​as wat dit voorheen was, en hoe Amerikaanse en Chinese interaksies met die see in die toekoms kan verander .

Luister nou

Die Tweede Opiumoorlog

Die Tweede Opiumoorlog het van 1856-1860 geduur. Langdurige Chinese ontevredenheid oor Britse en Franse handelaars wat opium na die land invoer, het tot 'n gewapende konflik gelei. In Oktober 1856 het die Chinese beslag gelê op 'n vaartuig wat onder die Britse vlag vaar, die Pyltjie, en dit van seerowery aangekla.

Die Britte het gereageer deur Chinese forte te vernietig, en die krisis het gelei tot 'n algemene verkiesing in Brittanje. Baie parlementslede, waaronder toekomstige premier William Gladstone, was verafsku deur die opiumhandel en het gedink dat Brittanje dit nie moet beskerm nie.

Lord Palmerston, wie se regering ten gunste van oorlog was, het die verkiesing gewen en Brittanje het vaartuie en soldate van die Royal Navy na Hong Kong gestuur, die nuwe kolonie van Brittanje langs China. Frankryk, woedend oor die Chinese omdat hulle een van hul sendelinge tereggestel het, was 'n bondgenoot met hulle. Anglo-Franse magte storm en verower die belangrike hawe van Kanton. China het haastig sy magte bymekaargemaak om hulle te beveg.

William Ewart Gladstone, teenstander van die opiumhandel. Beeldkrediet: Publieke domein

Rusland se belangstelling in 'Outer Manchuria'

Rusland en China sukkel al eeue lank oor 'Outer Manchuria', nou die suidooste van Rusland.

Gedurende die 1600's het Rusland koloniste aangemoedig om na die streek te verhuis, maar in die 1680's het die Chinese hulle verdryf. In die Nerchinsk -verdrag van 1689 het Rusland ingestem om sy territoriale aansprake op die gebied af te staan.

Rusland, wat nog steeds 'n vlootpos op die Stille Oseaan wou hê, het gedurende die 1700's weer koloniste na Buiten -Mantsjoerije begin stuur. In die aanloop tot die Tweede Opiumoorlog, met China se aandag op ander plekke, het die Russe in die geheim tienduisende troepe na die grens gebring.

China het tydens die Eerste Wêreldoorlog as 'n neutrale land begin. Maar vroeg in 1917 was duisend Chinese mans op pad na die Westelike Front. Tienduisende meer sou volg om logistieke ondersteuning aan die Geallieerdes te bied. Hulle was een van die grootste arbeidskorps van die oorlog.

Kyk nou

Die Russe gryp die geleentheid aan

Toe die oorlog begin en die Anglo-Franse magte oorwinnings oor die Chinese begin wen, het die Russiese generaal Nikolay Muraviov 'n geleentheid gesien. Hy het Rusland se militêre teenwoordigheid aan die noordelike grens van China onthul en geëis dat hulle groot gebiede afstaan ​​of dat Rusland sou aanval.

Die Chinese was bang vir 'n oorlog op twee fronte. Hulle het geweet dat hulle nie die Anglo-Franse aanvalle op hul suidelike hawens en 'n Russiese inval in die noorde kon weerstaan ​​nie. Die verteenwoordiger van die Qing -dinastie, Yishan, het ingestem tot die eise van Muraviov.

Op 28 Mei 1858 word die Verdrag van Aigun onderteken, waarin 'n nuwe grens langs die Amurrivier ooreengekom word. Rusland en sy oostelike kus is aansienlik vergroot.

Britse kaart van 1851 met die Russies-Chinese grens voor die Tweede Opiumoorlog. Beeldkrediet: Publieke domein

Die vernietiging van Beijing se Somerpaleise

Die voortreflike tegnologie en opleiding van die Anglo-Franse leër het gelei tot 'n reeks beslissende oorwinnings vir die Westerse moondhede. In hierdie stadium het 'n jong Russiese generaal -majoor met die naam Nikolay Ignatyev die Chinese hoofstad Peking (moderne Beijing) besoek om verdere toegewings te probeer beding.

Anglo-Franse magte het in Oktober 1860 in Peking aangekom, en die Chinese oorgawe was op hande. As straf vir China se mishandeling van gevangenes het die Britte en die Franse Beijing se Somerpaleise vernietig. Hulle het kosbare kunswerke uitgevoer en dade van wreedaardige vernietiging uitgevoer ter vergelding van Chinese misbruik tydens die oorlog.

Die Britse generaal, Lord Elgin, het selfs oorweeg om die historiese paleiskompleks van China, die Verbode Stad, te ontslaan. Die Chinese het uiteindelik ingestem om 'n vrede te beding, en Ignatjev posisioneer homself as die bemiddelaar tussen die twee kante.

Vaslegging van die Somerpaleis. Beeldkrediet: Publieke domein

Rusland se sukses by die Convention of Peking

In die konvensie van Peking het China, Brittanje, Frankryk en Rusland bymekaargekom om die uitslag van die oorlog te bepaal. Die verdrae wat hulle bekragtig het, was hoogs ongelyk - ten gunste van die westerlinge.

Op 25 en 26 Oktober 1860 onderteken die broer van die Chinese keiser 'n reeks ooreenkomste met die Britte en die Franse. 'N Aansienlike deel van die Kowloon -skiereiland is aan die Britte toegestaan, wat die kolonie Hong Kong uitgebrei het. Sowel Frankryk as Brittanje het ook baat gevind by die wettiging van opium en die Christendom, asook groot herstelvergoeding.

Tydens die onderhandelinge het Ignatyev die Chinese oortuig dat slegs sy invloed met Brittanje en Frankryk hul leërs kon oorreed om Beijing te verlaat. Hy het listig gespeel op Chinese vrese dat die hoofstad vernietig kan word as die konvensie misluk.

Nikolaj Ignatiev. Beeldkrediet: Publieke domein

Om die lojaliteit van Ignatyev te verseker, het die Chinese nog meer grond aan die Russe afgestaan ​​en hulle beheer gegee oor alles tussen die rivier die Amoer en die Goue Horingbaai.

Vladivostok

Op hierdie manier het Rusland baie baat gevind by die Tweede Opiumoorlog, ondanks die feit dat hy nie daarin geveg het nie. Ignatjef bereik meer as wat sy landgenote ooit gehoop het. Hulle nuwe gebied in die suidooste van die land het die Maritieme Provinsie, oftewel 'Primorski Krai', geword.

Russiese opportunisme en Ignatyev se diplomasie het aan Rusland die Goue Horingbaai gebied, spoedig die tuiste van sy groot hawe in die Stille Oseaan: Vladivostok. Die stad, met sy posisie aan die suidoostelike rand van Rusland, het toegelaat dat Russiese militêre en ekonomiese invloed tot in die Stille Oseaan strek.

Russiese territoriale winste tydens die Tweede Opiumoorlog. Bruin gebiede verteenwoordig die gebied wat beveilig is in die Verdrag van Aigun. Pienk gebiede verteenwoordig die gebied wat tydens die Convention of Peking verseker is. Beeldkrediet: Publieke domein

Die Chinese het eers dekades later hul fout besef. Die ooreenkomste met Rusland, Brittanje en Frankryk in die 19de eeu het uiteindelik die 'Ongelyke Verdrae' genoem. Hierdie ooreenkomste was baie erg oor die territoriale en ekonomiese verliese wat hulle aangerig het.

Vladivostok bly Rusland se belangrikste hawe in die Stille Oseaan en die tuiste van die Russiese Stille Oseaan -vloot.

Dan Snow ontmoet Calder Walton vir 'n martini en 'n oorsig van Rusland se geskiedenis van inmenging in buitelandse verkiesings.

Luister nou

Jou gids tot die Opium Wars

In die 19de eeu het Brittanje en Frankryk die geweerbote gestuur om China te boelie om die verkoop van opium aan sy burgers toe te laat.

Hierdie kompetisie is nou gesluit

Gepubliseer: 20 Julie 2020 om 15:05

Wat was die Opium -oorloë?

Die Opiumoorloë was twee 19de-eeuse konflikte tussen China en Brittanje (en later Frankryk) wat begin het met Chinese pogings om op te hou dat opium na hul land gesmokkel word.

Wat is opium presies?

Opium is 'n sterk verslawende middel wat uit papawers gehaal word.

Behalwe dat dit as medisyne gebruik is, was dit ook 'n gewilde ontspanningsmiddel. Teen die 1830's was miljoene Sjinese verslaaf aan opium, wat die gesondheid en produktiwiteit van die land aansienlik beskadig het.

Baie van die opium wat die Chinese rook, is deur die Britte ingevoer.

Waarom het die Britte die dwelm na China uitgevoer?

In hierdie tyd was daar 'n groot vraag in Brittanje na Chinese produkte soos porselein en tee, maar die Chinese wou nie ruil met Britse goedere nie. In plaas daarvan het hulle geëis om in silwer betaal te word. Sommige ondernemende Britse handelaars het eerder 'n ander oplossing aanvaar as om die silwerreserwes van die land te laat leegloop.

Hulle neem opium wat in Indië verbou is (wat toe effektief onder Britse beheer was) en voer dit na China in, en dring daarop aan om die medisyne in silwer te betaal, wat gebruik kan word om Chinese produkte te koop.

Alhoewel die invoer van opium onwettig was, het korrupte Chinese amptenare toegelaat dat dit op groot skaal plaasvind.

Hoe het dit tot oorlog gelei?

In 1839 besluit die Chinese regering om die smokkel te bekamp. Dit het beveel dat groot hoeveelhede opium van Britse handelaars in die Chinese hawe van Kanton, wat die enigste deel van die land was waar die Europeërs mag handel dryf, ingeneem word.

Die ontstoke handelaars het 'n beroep op die Britse regering gedoen om hulp, en by hierdie geleentheid het hulle 'n gereed gehoor gekry. Brittanje het lankal gehoop om sy invloed in China te vergroot. Dit was 'n uitstekende geleentheid om hierdie doel te bereik.

'N Britse vloot het in Junie 1840 aangekom en langs die Chinese kus aangeval. Met hul minderwaardige militêre tegnologie pas die Chinese nie by die Britte nie en na 'n reeks militêre nederlae het hulle ingestem om vernederende vredesvoorwaardes te onderteken.

Dit het bepaal dat China 'n groot boete aan Brittanje betaal, nog vyf hawens oopmaak vir buitelandse handel, die Britte 'n huurkontrak van 99 jaar op die eiland Hong Kong gee en Britse burgers spesiale wetlike regte in China bied.

In latere jare het China na hierdie skikking verwys as die 'ongelyk verdrag'.

Dit was dus die eerste Opiumoorlog. Hoe het die tweede een ontstaan?

Aangesien China verneder is en Brittanje verdere winste soek, het die situasie gespanne gebly.

Die vonk vir die tweede konflik het in 1856 plaasgevind toe Chinese offisiere 'n skip in China (maar Britse geregistreerde) deursoek en die Britse vlag laat sak het. In reaksie op hierdie belediging het die Britte weer 'n militêre ekspedisie gestuur, en hierdie keer het die Franse by hulle aangesluit, wat ook aspirasies in China gehad het en protesteer oor die moord op een van hul sendelinge in die land.

Soos voorheen was die Europese moondhede te sterk vir die Chinese. 'N Vredesooreenkoms is in 1858 bereik, maar die jaar daarna het China die ooreenkoms verbreek. Dit het in 1860 gelei tot die aankoms van 'n nog groter Anglo-Franse mag, wat Beijing bestorm het.

Teen Oktober was die Chinese gedwing om Britse en Franse terme te aanvaar wat die reg van buitelandse magte insluit om diplomate in Beijing te hou en die wettiging van die opiumhandel.

Wat was die nalatenskap van die Opium -oorloë?

In Brittanje het hulle 'n voetnoot in die geskiedenis geword, hoewel die land tot 1997 beheer oor Hong Kong behou het. Vir China was die impak meer dramaties.

Die militêre nederlae het die Qing -dinastie wat die land regeer verswak, terwyl die nuwe verdrae beteken het dat China oopgemaak is vir meer buitelandse invloed.

In onlangse jare is dit beskryf as die begin van 'n eeu van 'nasionale vernedering' deur buitelanders wat volgens sommige eers met die oorname van mag deur die Kommunistiese party in 1949 tot 'n einde gekom het.

Hierdie artikel is oorspronklik gepubliseer in die Augustus 2014 -uitgawe van die tydskrif BBC History Revealed


Opiumoorlog: die konflik wat China vir altyd verander het

Die oorloë is gevoer om China oop te maak vir buitelandse handel, insluitend die verkoop van dwelms.

Kernpunt: Londen het 'n oorlog van aggressie teen China begin om 'n ongelyk verdrag af te dwing. Toe hulle hul sukses sien, het ander groot keiserlike magte spoedig gevolg.

In 1839 het Engeland met China oorlog gevoer, omdat dit ontsteld was dat Chinese amptenare sy raket vir dwelmhandel gesluit het en beslag gelê het op sy dwelm.

Dit is skokkend om die historiese rekord so duidelik te stel - maar dit is waar, en die gevolge van die daad word vandag nog gevoel.

Die Qing -dinastie, wat in 1644 deur die Mantsjoeriese stamme gestig is, het die grense van China tot hul verste bereik uitgebrei deur Tibet, Taiwan en die Uighur -ryk te verower. Die Qing draai egter daarna na binne en isolasie, en weier om Westerse ambassadeurs te aanvaar omdat hulle nie die Qing -dinastie as hul hoogste staatshoofde wil verklaar nie.

Buitelanders - selfs op handelsskepe - is toegang tot Chinese gebied verbied.

Die uitsondering op die reël was in Canton, die suidoostelike streek wat gesentreer is in die huidige provinsie Guangdong, wat aangrensend is aan Hong Kong en Macao. Buitelanders is toegelaat om handel te dryf in die Thirteen Factories -distrik in die stad Guangzhou, met betalings wat uitsluitlik in silwer gemaak is.

Die Britte het die Oos -Indiese Kompanjie 'n monopolie op handel met China gegee, en spoedig het skepe in die koloniale Indië silwer kragtig verruil vir tee en porselein. Maar die Britte het 'n beperkte voorraad silwer.

In die middel van die 1700's het die Britte begin met die handel in opium wat in Indië verbou is in ruil vir silwer van Chinese handelaars. Opium - 'n verslawende middel wat vandag in heroïen verfyn word - was onwettig in Engeland, maar is in Chinese tradisionele medisyne gebruik.

Ontspanningsgebruik was egter onwettig en nie wydverspreid nie. Dit het verander toe die Britte tonne dwelms begin versend het met 'n kombinasie van kommersiële skuiwergate en volstrekte smokkel om die verbod te vermy.

Chinese amptenare wat hul eie besnoeiing geneem het, het die praktyk ondersteun. Amerikaanse skepe wat opium met Turks geteel het, het aan die begin van die 1800's deelgeneem aan die narcotika-bonanza. Die verbruik van opium in China het die hoogte ingeskiet, net soos die wins.

Die Daoguang -keiser het ontsteld geraak oor die miljoene dwelmverslaafdes - en die stroom silwer wat China verlaat. Soos dikwels die geval is, het die optrede van 'n koppige idealis die konflik tot 'n einde gebring. In 1839 het die nuut aangestelde keiserlike kommissaris Lin Zexu wette ingestel wat opium in China verbied.

Hy het 1700 handelaars gearresteer en beslag gelê op die kratte van die dwelm reeds in Chinese hawens en selfs op skepe op see. Daarna laat hy hulle almal vernietig. Dit was 2,6 miljoen pond opium wat in die see gegooi is. Lin het selfs 'n gedig geskryf waarin hy die seegode om verskoning vra vir die besoedeling.

Boos Britse handelaars het die Britse regering vergoeding vir die verlore dwelms laat beloof, maar die tesourie kon dit nie bekostig nie. Oorlog sou die skuld oplos.

Maar die eerste skote is afgevuur toe die Chinese beswaar daarteen maak dat die Britte een van hul eie handelskepe aanval.

Chinese owerhede het aangedui dat hulle sal toelaat dat die handel in nie-opium-goedere hervat word. Lin Zexu selfs 'n brief gestuur aan koningin Victoria en daarop gewys dat, aangesien Engeland 'n verbod op die handel in opium het, dit ook regverdig was om een ​​in te stel.

Dit het haar nooit bereik nie, maar het uiteindelik in die Sunday Times verskyn.

In plaas daarvan het die Royal Navy 'n blokkade rondom Pearl Bay gevestig om te protesteer teen die beperking van vryhandel ... in dwelms. Twee Britse skepe wat katoen gedra het, het probeer om die blokkade in November 1839 te bestuur. Toe die Royal Navy 'n waarskuwingskoot op die tweede, The Royal Saxon, afvuur, het die Chinese 'n eskader met oorlogspunte en vuurvlotte gestuur om die handelaar te begelei.

HMS Volage se kaptein, wat nie die Chinese 'intimidasie' wou verdra nie, het 'n breë kant op die Chinese skepe afgevuur. HMS Hyacinth het aangesluit. Een van die Chinese skepe het ontplof en nog drie is gesink. By hul terugbrand het een Britse matroos gewond.

Sewe maande later het 'n volskaalse ekspedisiemag van 44 Britse skepe 'n inval in Kanton geloods. Die Britte het stoomskepe, swaar kanonne, Congreve -vuurpyle en infanterie toegerus met gewere wat akkurate langafstandvure kon tref. Chinese staatsmagte - 'baniere' - was steeds toegerus met vuurhoutjies wat tot 50 meter akkuraat was en 'n vuurtempo van een ronde per minuut.

Verouderde Chinese oorlogskepe is vinnig deur die Royal Navy vernietig. Britse skepe vaar langs die Zhujiang- en Yangtze-riviere, beset Sjanghai langs die pad en vat beslag op die invordering van belasting, wat die finansies van die Qing-regering verwurg. Chinese leërs het nederlaag na nederlaag gely.

Toe die Qing in 1842 om vrede aankla, kon die Britte hul eie bepalings stel. Die Verdrag van Nanjing het bepaal dat Hong Kong 'n Britse gebied sou word, en dat China gedwing sou word om vyf verdragshawe te stig waarin Britse handelaars alles wat hulle wil, kan verhandel met enigiemand wat hulle wil. 'N Later verdrag het die Chinese gedwing om die Britte formeel as gelykes te erken en hul handelaars gunstige status te verleen.

Meer oorlog, meer opium:

Imperialisme was teen die middel van die 1800's aan die toeneem. Frankryk het ook in 1843 by die verhandeling aangekom. Die Britte wou spoedig nog meer toegewings van China hê - onbeperkte handel by enige hawe, ambassades in Beijing en 'n einde aan die verbod op die verkoop van opium op die Chinese vasteland.

Een taktiek wat die Britte gebruik het om hul invloed te bevorder, was die registrasie van die skepe van Chinese handelaars waarmee hulle te doen gekry het as Britse skepe.

Die voorwendsel vir die tweede Opiumoorlog is komies in sy absurditeit. In Oktober 1856 het Chinese owerhede beslag gelê op 'n voormalige seerowerskip, die Arrow, met 'n Chinese bemanning en 'n Britse registrasie wat verval het. Die kaptein het aan die Britse owerhede gesê dat die Chinese polisie die vlag van 'n Britse skip afgehaal het.

Die Britte eis dat die Chinese goewerneur die bemanning vrylaat. Toe slegs nege van die 14 terugkeer, begin die Britte met 'n bombardement van die Chinese forte rondom Canton en uiteindelik die stadsmure oopbars.

Britse liberale, onder William Gladstone, was ontsteld oor die vinnige eskalasie en protesteer teen 'n nuwe oorlog ter wille van die opiumhandel in die parlement. Hulle het egter setels verloor tydens 'n verkiesing tot die Tories onder Lord Palmerston. Hy het die nodige ondersteuning gekry om die oorlog te vervolg.

China was nie in staat om terug te veg nie, want dit was toe gewikkel in die verwoestende Taiping-rebellie, 'n boeropstand onder leiding van 'n mislukte staatsdiensondersoeker wat beweer dat hy die broer van Jesus Christus is. Die rebelle het Beijing byna in beslag geneem en het steeds 'n groot deel van die land beheer.

Weereens het die Royal Navy sy Chinese teenstanders gesloop en 23 junks gesink in die openingsgeleentheid naby Hong Kong en beslag gelê op Guangzhou. In die volgende drie jaar het Britse skepe die rivier opgewerk en verskeie Chinese forte gevang deur 'n kombinasie van vlootbomaanvalle en amfibiese aanvalle.

Frankryk het by die oorlog aangesluit - sy verskoning was die teregstelling van 'n Franse sendeling wat die verbod op buitelanders in die provinsie Guangxi getrotseer het. Selfs die Verenigde State het kortliks betrokke geraak nadat 'n Chinese fort op 'n afstand op 'n Amerikaanse skip potskote geneem het.

In die Slag van die Pearl River Fort het 'n Amerikaanse vloot 'n mag van drie skepe en 287 matrose en mariniers vier forte stormagtig ingeneem, 176 kanonne gevang en 'n teenaanval van 3 000 Chinese infanterie afgeweer. Die Verenigde State het amptelik neutraal gebly.

Rusland het nie deelgeneem aan die geveg nie, maar het die oorlog gebruik om China te druk om 'n groot deel van sy noordoostelike gebied af te staan, waaronder die huidige stad Vladivostok.

Toe buitelandse gesante die volgende verdrag in 1858 opstel, was die bepalings nog meer verpletterend vir die gesag van die Qing -dinastie. Nog tien stede is as verdragshawens aangewys, buitelanders het gratis toegang tot die Yangtze -rivier en die Chinese vasteland, en Beijing sal ambassades na Engeland, Frankryk en Rusland oopmaak.

Die keiser van Xianfeng het eers met die verdrag ingestem, maar het daarna van plan verander en die Mongoolse generaal Sengge Rinchen gestuur om die Taku -fort op die waterweg na Beijing te beman. Die Chinese het in Junie 1859 'n Britse poging om die forte oor see te neem, afgeweer en vier Britse skepe laat sink. 'N Jaar later slaag 'n aanval op die land deur 11 000 Britse en 6 700 Franse troepe.

Toe 'n Britse diplomatieke missie daarop aandring om die verdrag na te kom, het die Chinese die gesant as gyselaar geneem en baie in die afvaardiging gemartel. Die Britse hoë kommissaris van Chinese aangeleenthede, lord Elgar, het besluit om oorheersing te bewerkstellig en die weermag na Beijing gestuur.

Britse en Franse gewere het 10 000 laaiende Mongoolse kavalleriste in die Slag van die Eight Mile Bridge doodgeskiet en Beijing weerloos gelaat. Keiser Xianfeng het gevlug. Om die keiser se "trots sowel as sy gevoel" in die woorde van Lord Elgar te verwond, het Britse en Franse troepe die historiese Somerpaleis gebuit en vernietig.

Die nuwe hersiene verdrag wat aan China opgelê is, het sowel Christendom as opium gewettig, en Tianjin - die grootste stad naby Beijing - is bygevoeg tot die lys van verdragshavens. Dit het Britse skepe toegelaat om Chinese arbeiders na die Verenigde State te vervoer, en 'n boete van agt miljoen silwer dollars aan die Chinese regering beboet.


Rusland veg opiumoorlog omdat die VSA agt jaar in Afghanistan vier

Aangesien Rusland met die onheilspellende demografiese situasie te kampe het volgens die ergste ramings, kan die bevolking in die komende dekade met tot 3 miljoen mense tot minder as 140 miljoen tuimel, en dit behoort geen verrassing te wees dat heroïenverslawing, wat tot 30 000 mense doodmaak Russe sit jaarliks ​​voor en op die Kremlin -rsquos -radar.

Vir Rusland is die taak om die afskaffing van die afghaanse opiumproduksie uit te wis 'n ongeëwenaarde prioriteit vir Rusland, en rdquo sê Viktor Ivanov, die hoof van Rusland en die Federale Diens vir die Beheer van Narkotika (FSKN). & ldquo Meer as 90 persent van die dwelmverslaafdes in ons land is verbruikers van opiate uit Afghanistan. Tot 30 000 mense sterf jaarliks ​​aan heroïenverwante siektes. & Rdquo

In die 1990's het die heroïenverbruik in Rusland 'n tienvoudige toename beleef het Ivanov voortgegaan en Donderdag op 'n nuuskonferensie by RIA Novosti gepraat. Vandag het die aantal dwelmverslaafdes gegroei tot 2,5 miljoen mense, hoofsaaklik tussen die ouderdomme van 18 en 39. & rdquo

Volgens datum beskikbaar by die VN, sowel as ons eie navorsing, het ons gevind dat die aantal mense wat heroïne in Rusland gebruik gemiddeld 5 tot 8 keer hoër is as in die EU -lande. & rdquo

Verlede maand het Ivanov sy boodskap na Washington DC gebring, waar hy 'n toespraak in die Nixon -sentrum gehou het. Daar het hy beklemtoon dat Rusland nie die enigste land is wat bedreig word deur die & ldquoscourge van Afghaanse opiumproduksie. & rdquo

Die transnasionale aard van Afghaanse heroïenhandel maak dit vir enige staat onmoontlik om hul toevlug te neem teen die rampspoedige impak daarvan. Ivanov gesê. Die Afghaanse heroïenmark is hoofsaaklik buite en weg van Afghanistan geleë en is gebaseer op 'n gesofistikeerde wêreldwye verkoopsinfrastruktuur. & rdquo

Ten slotte het Ivanov miskien die mees oortuigende argument vir almal dat die produksie van dwelms in Afghanistan die hoogste prioriteit moet geniet: Afghaanse heroïen help om die wortels van terroriste -netwerke te koester.

Dit is herhaaldelik bewys dat die dwelmbesigheid die finansiële basis vir terrorisme bied en een van die belangrikste faktore is vir die toename daarvan. & rdquo

Ivanov trek toe 'n direkte parallel met Rusland se ervaring in die verlede in die hantering van die wêreld se voorste terreurbrein, Osama bin Laden, wat volgens die Russe enorme fondse aan Tsjetsjeense rebelle gestuur het.

& ldquoDit was Osama bin Laden, & rdquo Ivanov herinner, & ldquowho het in die middel 1990's heroïenvoorsieningskettings vir Rusland en rsquos Tsjetsjenië geskep om Tsjetsjeense terroriste te befonds. & rdquo

Maar wat die Afghaanse dwelmprobleem vir Rusland anders maak as die spook van byvoorbeeld alkoholisme, sterftes in die pad of ernstige siektes, is dat 'n oplossing vir die probleem nie net van Rusland en pogings alleen afhang nie. Die sukses van die Russiese en rsquos -veldtog teen heroïenverslawing hang inderdaad af van die pogings van die koalisiemagte in Afghanistan, waarvan die VSA oorheers in terme van getalle en leierskap.

Teen die agtergrond van Rusland en 'n ernstige dwelmprobleem, het Ivanov tydens sy nuuskonferensie Donderdag beklemtoon en die samewerking tussen die Verenigde State en Rusland neem toe. & rdquo

Die Amerikaners reageer

Timothy Jones, die Drug Enforcement Administration & rsquos attach & eacute by die Amerikaanse ambassade in Moskou, het Ivanov & rsquos positief beoordeel oor die gesamentlike pogings wat nou tussen Moskou en Washington op die dwelmfront plaasvind.

& ldquoWe & rsquore gaan ons kundigheid kombineer, & rdquo Jones in 'n telefoniese onderhoud met RT gesê. Die DEA en die FSKN werk al jare saam in gesamentlike ondersoeke. Maar hierdie nuwe vlak van samewerking bring 'n groter aantal en meer klem op die probleem waarmee Rusland te kampe het. & Rdquo

Jones herhaal Ivanov & rsquos se opmerkings dat die heroïenprobleem nie alleen na Rusland oorgedra word nie.

Die handel in dwelms is nie net 'n probleem vir Rusland nie, en ook rdquo hy het gesê. "Dit is 'n probleem vir die Verenigde State, dit is 'n probleem vir Iran, en dit is 'n probleem vir Turkye. Dit is 'n probleem vir al die buurlande. & Rdquo

Die DEA & rsquos Moscow attach & eacute het daarna beklemtoon dat alle nasies saam moet werk om die heroïenprobleem te verslaan.

& ldquo Tensy ons almal saamwerk en hierdie probleem as 'n gesamentlike poging aanval, & rdquo Jones het gewaarsku, & ldquowe & rsquore sal nie die verskil kan maak wat ons moet maak nie. & rdquo

Jones het daarna uitgebrei gepraat oor die DEA & rsquos -werk in Afghanistan.

Die DEA het 'n groot aantal agente daar onder wat saam met die koalisiemagte werk. En daarom is ons aktief besig met die soeke na die medisyne -laboratoriums, na die dwelmhandelaars en die chemikalieë wat in die land kom. En natuurlik het ons ander kantore in die omliggende lande rondom Afghanistan. Dus, in samewerking met die kantore, probeer ons as 'n span saam met ons eweknieë die probleem aanval. & Rdquo

Maar die Amerikaanse ambassade & rsquos DEA attach & eacute het beklemtoon dat die Verenigde State nie alleen werk om die dwelmhandelaars wat in Afghanistan werk, te verslaan nie, en bespreek die DEA & rsquos -samewerking met Rusland en RSQUOS FSKN, sowel as ander filiale in die veld.

& ldquo Ons pogings is nie uit eie hand nie, en rdquo Jones gesê. & ldquo Ons werk saam met ons eweknieë in die onderskeie lande waarin ons inkom. Enige leidrade wat ons met betrekking tot Rusland vind, stuur ons aan die FSKN, en omgekeerd. Ons het 'n groot aantal mense in Afghanistan, so as FSKN 'n paar leidrade vir ons het, sal ons dit ontvang en aktief saamwerk om die probleem op te los. & Rdquo

Kyk! Bo in die lug!

Een gebied waar die Verenigde State en Rusland teenstrydige menings het oor hoe om die dwelmhandelaars in hul eie spel te verslaan, behels die gebruik van vliegtuie, wat volgens Rusland die papawervelde kan berook.

Tot dusver het die Verenigde State koel reageer op die voorstel, en dit is steeds besig om die Russe te pla.

In 2008 het die staat Columbia 230 uit 280 hektaar koka -gewasse suksesvol uitgeskakel deur middel van ontblaring deur onkruiddoders uit die lug te spuit, & rdquo Ivanov het verlede maand aan sy gehoor in Washington gesê in 'n poging om steun vir die inisiatief te werf. Maar teenstanders van die chemiese metodes voer aan dat onkruiddoderbespuiting negatief deur die Afghaanse kleinboere beskou sal word, wat weerstandsbewegings kan versterk. & rdquo

Ivanov haal toe die politieke ontleder en skrywer, David Kilcullen, die skrywer van die boek, en "The Accidental Guerrilla" aan, 'n afskrif waarvan hy tydens die mediakonferensie in Moskou in die lug gehys het.

& ldquoAs ons reeds die Taliban -posisies bombardeer, & rdquo hy haal Kilcullen aan deur te sê: En hoe kan ons ons lande bespuit met 'n onskadelike onkruiddoder en hul geld afsny? & rdquo

DEA Attach & eacute Timothy Jones het gesê dat die koalisiemagte, nie net die Amerikaanse magte nie, teen die gebruik van onkruiddoders teen dwelmhandelaars was, uit vrees dat dit 'n terugslag van die plaaslike bevolking kan veroorsaak.

Eerstens dink ek nie dat u kan sê dat dit slegs die Verenigde State is wat die hele besluit daar neem nie (in Afghanistan), & rdquo Jones gesê. & ldquo Ons het 'n koalisie. En dit is die koalisie wat die besluit moet neem oor wat reg is. Ons moet dus sê dat die Verenigde State iets ondersteun en dat ons dit net gaan doen, ongeag wat dit is, en dit is nie die manier waarop dit opgestel is nie. & Rdquo

Op die oppervlak sou ek ja sê, dit is 'n baie vinnige manier om die opium uit te wis, en rdquo Jones het gesê, voordat hy die nadele van die bespuiting van ontblare oor die velde uitgewys het. & ldquo Maar daar is nog iets wat u in ag moet neem. Baie van hierdie mense verstaan ​​nie die konsep van lugbespuiting nie. En alhoewel ons chemikalieë kan gebruik wat 'n spesifieke plant plant, kan die mense op die grond dink dat u alles aanval en hul lewensbestaan ​​vernietig. & Rdquo

Jones, met die argument dat 'n Die onderwysproses moet plaasvind voordat ons net met chemikalieë begin spuit gesê die chemikalieë van lugbespuiting kan in die grond en watertoevoer kom, wat moontlik kinders en diere kan benadeel.

Alhoewel dit 'n twispunt tussen die Verenigde State en Rusland is, blyk dit dat daar in die toekoms 'n kompromie gevind kan word en dat aktiewe ontblaring van die papawervelde ernstig kan begin. Op die oog af lyk dit asof daar geen ander manier is om die probleem op te los nie. Amptenare sê immers dat 7 700 ton opium verlede jaar in Afghanistan geproduseer is 93 persent van die totale wêreldwye opiumproduksie. Nodeloos om te sê, opium is die kontantgewas van Afghanistan.

Sal die Verenigde State uiteindelik toegee aan die Russiese eise vir 'n aktiewe ontblaringsprogram, miskien met direkte hulp van Russiese vliegtuie en vlieëniers (die werk sou immers uiterste risiko's inhou, veral as ons in ag neem dat ongeveer 3 miljoen Afghaanse mense afhanklik is direk of indirek op opiumproduksie)?

Vreemder dinge het gebeur. Wie sou byvoorbeeld kon raai dat Rusland sou instem om Amerikaanse militêre vliegtuie toestemming te gee om oor die Russiese lugruim na 'n verre oorlogsteater te vlieg? Maar dit is presies wat vandag gebeur, en dit lyk asof Rusland 'n soort toegewings vir hierdie vlugte sal verwag.

Ivanov het soveel te kenne gegee in Washington.

& ldquoRussland is die belangrikste slagoffer van Afghaanse heroïne, & rdquo herinner hy sy gehoor. & ldquo Dit help egter die Verenigde State en die NAVO deur toegewings te maak. Ons het die vervoer van nie net dodelike nie, maar ook militêre vragte wat deur Afghanistan gebring is, toegelaat oor ons hele gebied. Dit moet beskou word as 'n aansienlike steun vir die koalisie- en rsquos -aktiwiteite in Afghanistan. & Rdquo

Intussen raak Amerika al hoe meer vasgevang in 'n land met die regte bynaam en die begraafplaas van ryke, terwyl dele van Rusland begin lyk soos die dwelmslawe van dwelmverslaafdes. & Rdquo

Given this grim political landscape that presents a massive threat to both former Cold War powers, some form of mutually advantageous cooperation should be achievable. After all, both countries share more or less the same nightmares over Afghanistan.


The Second Opium War

By 1856, largely thanks to the influence of Britain, ‘chasing the dragon’ was widespread throughout China. The term was originally coined in Cantonese in Hong Kong, and referred to the practice of inhaling opium by chasing the smoke with an opium pipe. Although by this point, the first opium war was officially over, many of the original problems remained.

Treaty of Nanking

Britain and China were both still dissatisfied with the unequal Treaty of Nanking and the uneasy peace that had ensued. Britain still desired that the trade of opium be legalised, and China remained deeply resentful of the concessions that they had already made to Britain and the fact that the British were continuing to sell opium illegally to their population. The question of opium remained worryingly unsettled. Britain also wanted access into the walled city of Guangzhou, another massive point of contention at this time as the interior of China was prohibited to foreigners.

To further complicate matters, China was embroiled in the Taiping Rebellion, starting in 1850 and creating a period of radical political and religious upheaval. It was a bitter conflict within China that took an estimated 20 million lives before it finally came to an end in 1864. So as well as the issue of opium continually being sold illegally in China by the British, the Emperor also had to quell a Christian rebellion. However, this rebellion was heavily anti-opium which complicated things further, as the anti-opium stance was beneficial to the Emperor and the Qing dynasty. However it was a Christian rebellion and China at this time practiced Confucism. So although there were parts of the rebellion that were widely supported, including their opposition to prostitution, opium and alcohol, it was not universally supported, as it still contradicted some deeply held Chinese traditions and values. The Qing dynasty’s hold on the region was becoming more and more tenuous, and the open challenges to their authority by the British were only fuelling the fire. Tensions began to escalate between the two great powers once again.

Detail from a scene of the Taiping Rebellion

These tensions came to a head in October 1856, when the British registered trading ship the ‘Arrow’ docked in Canton and was boarded by a group of Chinese officials. They allegedly searched the ship, lowered the British flag and then arrested some of the Chinese sailors on board. Although the sailors were later released, this was the catalyst for a British military retaliation and skirmishes broke out between the two forces once again. As things escalated, Britain sent a warship along the Pearl River which began firing on Canton. The British then captured and imprisoned the governor who consequently died in the British colony of India. Trading between Britain and China then abruptly ceased as an impasse was reached.

It was at this point that other powers began to get involved. The French decided to become embroiled in the conflict as well. The French had a strained relationship with the Chinese after a French missionary had allegedly been murdered in the interior of China in early 1856. This gave the French the excuse they had been waiting for to side with the British, which they duly did. Following this, the USA and Russia also got involved and also demanded trade rights and concessions from China. In 1857 Britain stepped up the invasion of China having already captured Canton, they headed to Tianjin. By April 1858 they had arrived and it was at this point that a treaty was once again proposed. This would be another of the Unequal Treaties, but this treaty would attempt to do what the British had been fighting for all along, that is, it would officially legalise the import of opium. The treaty had other advantages for the supposed allies as well however, including opening new trading ports and allowing the free movement of missionaries. However, the Chinese refused to ratify this treaty, somewhat unsurprisingly, as for the Chinese this treaty was even more unequal than the last one.

Looting of the Imperial summer palace by Anglo-French troops

The British response to this was swift. Beijing was captured and the Imperial summer palace burned and pillaged before the British fleet sailed up the coast, virtually holding China to ransom in order to ratify the treaty. Finally, in 1860 China capitulated to the superior British military strength and the Beijing Agreement was reached. This newly ratified treaty was the culmination of the two Opium Wars. The British succeeded in gaining the opium trade that they had fought so hard for. The Chinese had lost: the Beijing Agreement opened Chinese ports to trade, allowed foreign ships down the Yangtze, the free movement of foreign missionaries within China and most importantly, allowed the legal trade of British opium within China. This was a huge blow to the Emperor and to the Chinese people. The human cost of the Chinese addiction to opium should not be underestimated.

Detail from Rabin Shaw’s ‘Self-Portrait of the Opium Smoker (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)’

However these concessions were more than just a threat to the moral, traditional and cultural values of China at the time. They contributed to the eventual downfall of the Qing dynasty in China. Imperial rule had fallen to the British time and time again during these conflicts, with the Chinese forced into concession after concession. They were shown as no match for the British navy or negotiators. Britain was now legally and openly selling opium within China and the trade of opium would keep increasing for years to come.

However, as things changed and the popularity of opium decreased, so did its influence within the country. In 1907 China signed the 10 Year Agreement with India by which India promised to stop cultivating and exporting opium within the next ten years. By 1917 the trade had all but ceased. Other drugs had become more fashionable and easier to produce, and the time of opium and the historic ‘opium eater’ had come to an end.

Ultimately it took two wars, countless conflicts, treaties, negotiations and no doubt a substantial number of addictions, to force opium into China – just so that the British could enjoy their quintessential cup of tea!


The racialization of our country’s drug policies are a feature of the system, not a bug. From the very beginning, one of the explicit goals of American drug enforcement policy has been the demonization of what Harry Anslinger — the grandfather of modern-day drug enforcement — believed to be ”the degenerate races”. An often-overlooked part of this history is the way anti-Chinese sentiment fueled the enactment of America’s first drug control efforts.

The Angell Treaty of 1880, which was enacted in response to the rapid rise of anti-Chinese sentiment during the 1870s, banned Chinese nationals from importing smoking-opium into the United States. Pharmacologically identical, but less potent than other opium derivatives, smoking-opium was — at least at first — largely consumed by Chinese immigrants in California. ⁣

Bigoted and xenophobic US officials — confident that opium smoking would solely appeal to “degenerate” Asian immigrants —composed the treaty in such a way that it only prohibited Chinese nationals from importing smoking-opium.

American citizens were still free to partake in the trade.

Predictably, the limitations of this intervention failed to curb the importation of smoking opium. In fact, it had the complete opposite effect. The profit opportunity posed by the ban incentivized greater American involvement in the importation and domestic cultivation of smoking-opium, which in turn helped to introduce smoking opium to new geographies and demographics.

The passage of 1909’s Opium Exclusion Act — which fully banned the import of opium and its derivatives into the United States — was ostensibly an attempt to correct the unintended and counterproductive consequences of the Angell Treaty. However, the data makes it clear that public health concerns were not the chief goal of the legislation in 1909, American opium consumption had been in steady decline for nearly two decades. In reality, the primary motivation was appeasing racist and xenophobic Anglo-Americans living in the American West (many of who were simultaneously championing a rash of other anti-Chinese ordinances). ⁣

The enforcement practices of the Opium Act also illustrate its intended objective enacting greater social over Chinese immigrant communities in the American West. Despite American law enforcement’s awareness that problematic smoking-opium use was largely concentrated in Anglo-American communities, mass raids on Chinese homes and businesses quickly followed the Act’s passage. These efforts succeeded in terrorizing and brutalizing Asian-American communities but had a nuanced — and largely oppositional — impact on US smoking-opium consumption. ⁣

You see, heightened police activity in Chinatown caused white opium smokers to set up dens in their own neighborhoods. This geographic spread not only made enforcement more expensive and less effective, but the raids—by compelling opium smokers to seek out new non-Chinese consumption locales and purveyors — worked to decrease the social stigma around opioid consumption.

That said, the Opium Exclusion Act did succeed in one of its stated goals. While smoking opium continued to be smuggled in (or produced domestically), the ban made the substance so expensive that it became virtually inaccessible to all but the wealthiest segment of society. And so in the years following the Act’s passage, the US saw an even steeper decline in the number of Americans regularly consumed opium.

Unfortunately—and quite predictably, the inaccessibility of smoking-opium (which, remember, was less potent and addictive than other opium derivatives) did not result in opium consumers abandoning the substance altogether. Most smoking-opium consumed abandoned the pipe only opium only to replace it with the use of more powerful, addictive, and largely legal opiates—namely heroin and morphine.

“It was soon found that it was difficult to enforce that act, and that the smuggling of smoking opium, beginning on the 1st of April 1909, had been growing ever since, in spite of all the efforts of the Government to stop it and this act is designed to cure the defect in the opium-exclusion act [sic] and to stop that smuggling.” — US Congressional Record, 1913.

The data shows that a dramatic escalation of problematic heroin and morphine use kicked in *less than a year* after the passage of the Opium Exclusion Act.


America’s First Multimillionaire Got Rich Smuggling Opium

When business legend John Jacob Astor died in 1848, he was hailed as a titan of trade and praised as a sharp salesman with a taste for philanthropy. “There are few men whose biography would prove more instructive or more acceptable for the present age than the life of John Jacob Astor,”gushed one magazine in his obituary.

But today, one facet of the first multi-millionaire’s biography might seem to tarnish his shining legacy: his dabbling in smuggled opium. Astor’s enormous fortune was made in part by sneaking opium into China against imperial orders. The resulting riches made him one of the world’s most powerful merchants𠅊nd also helped create the world’s first widespread opioid epidemic.

Born in Germany, Astor’s enterprising spirit took him abroad when he was just 18. He ended up in the United States at a time when the country was in the midst of a new love affair with China.

As Astor began to sell furs in New York, he kept tabs on America’s new China trade. The country had a longstanding obsession with Chinese goods, especially the tea that had fueled revolutionary sentiment against the United Kingdom. During British rule, American trade was under England’s thumb, and the East India Company had a monopoly on trade with China. The Revolutionary War changed that, and the new United States, now free of the monopoly, could trade freely with China. American ships began to sail directly to Canton, and the flow of commerce that followed made millionaires out of the intrepid men who plunged into the trade.

Astor began to import Chinese tea and silks𠅊nd to flirt with another way to get in on the trade boom.

A port off the Canton River in China. (Credit: Ann Ronan Pictures/Print Collector/Getty Images)

“The China trade was an early engine of American investment,”notes Eric Jay Dolin for The Daily Beast. The merchants who became millionaires thanks to commerce with China also became philanthropists𠅋ut there was a downside. “These American fortunes, and all their good works…must be weighed against the damage that was done in acquiring them,” writes Dolin.

That damage took the form of drugs—namely, opium. Since there wasn’t much demand in China for western goods, England and the United States made up for it by providing something that was. They used the profits from opium to purchase tea, pottery and fabrics that they𠆝 resell back home. This also allowed merchants to get around a big technical challenge: an international shortage of silver, the only currency the Chinese would take.

Opium was technically banned in China, but merchants like Astor found a way around the ban. Large ships containing gigantic hauls of opium met small vessels outside of legitimate ports and swiftly unloaded their illicit cargo. Bribery was common and officials who had taken bribes looked the other way instead of enforcing anti-opium laws.

Astor knew that British ships usually smuggled in premium opium from India, but he wanted to get a foothold in the opium trade. For his first salvo, he purchased 10 tons of Turkish opium in 1816. The quality wasn’t as high as Indian opium, but it was still in demand: dealers cut Indian opium with their Turkish supply. Astor shipped the opium to China in exchange for goods that he resold in the United States.

It isn’t clear how much opium Astor sold during his years as a drug smuggler, and the business was just a lucrative sideline to his even more profitable fur trade. But Astor is thought to have sold hundreds of thousands of pounds of opium between 1816 and 1825, when he stepped away from the China trade for good. According to historian John Kuo Wei Tchen, Astor even brought opium to New York, openly selling it and evenadvertising it in New York newspapers.

Chinese opium smokers in Hong Kong. (Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Hulton -argief/Getty Images

By selling opium, Astor was satisfying an international craving that would reach epidemic proportions during the 19th century. Opium use became rampant in China, where 3 million people smoked opium in the 1830s. By 1890, a full 10 percent of China’s population smoked opium. In a bid to curb opium use, imperial China banned producing or consuming the drug, even executing dealers andforcing users to wear heavy wooden collars and endure beatings.

Smugglers like Astor fed that demand without taking on too much risk as Frederic Delano Grant, Jr. notes, American smugglers overlooked the consequences of the trade. “Perhaps the opium traders’ inability to see most Chinese as other than menials or curiosities helped them keep faceless the hundreds of thousands of Chinese who craved the drug they sold,”writes Grant.

Astor wasn’t the only American to make his fortune in part through opium smuggling: Warren Delano, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s father, made millions engaging in what hecalled a �ir, honorable and legitimate” trade.

Opium smoking and injection of opium derivatives like morphine created hardcore drug users in England and the United States, but the main toll of opium use in the West was felt among casual users who started using opium under doctor’s orders. Opium use was socially acceptable and medically approved in some forms, and could be found in patent medicines prescribed for everything from pain to depression.

This led to widespread addiction and became, in effect, America’s first opioid epidemic. In 1859, Harper’s Magazinewrote of “glassy eyes in Fifth Avenue drawing-rooms and opera-stalls” and “permanently stupefied” babies𠅊ll people who took or were given opium in prescription or over-the-counter form. It would take until the late 19th century for American doctors to curb their prescriptions of opium derivatives to patients.

By then, opium abuse had devastated China and caused two wars. Astor, long since dead, had passed his fortune on to a family that became a Gilded Age fixture and dominated New York philanthropy and high society.

Astor’s reputation didn’t suffer from the trade—though it was illegal in China, Astor conducted his drug deals openly. But by participating in the opium trade in the early 1800s, he helped create a system that fueled addiction worldwide𠅊nd made millions while he was at it.


Unsurprisingly for a work controlled by a committee of bureaucrats, the ballet was mired in conflict

Unsurprisingly for a work controlled by a committee of bureaucrats, the ballet was mired in conflict throughout its development. Virtually everyone involved fought over every element possible (aside from composer Reinhold Glière – a master of the art of playing it safe who kept his compositions light and uncontroversial, stayed out of ideological battles between artists, and coasted through the revolution unscathed). The original scenarist’s treatment was rejected and his duties were passed to Kurilko, who is credited as its official author. A third person involved in the script fell out with ballet master Vasiliy Tikhomirov over the second act, and his name was removed from the project. One of the ballet’s most crowd-pleasing dances, the folksy Yablochko (or “Little Apple”), is derived from a Russian sailor song, and as Glière later recalled, the Bolshoi orchestra’s musicians considered it demeaning to play. “Pressure, endless pressure,” reads an internal memo from the period, quoted by Elizabeth Souritz in her book Soviet Choreographers in the 1920s. “More than once the whole thing fell apart and we lost hope.”

Flower power

The Stalinist era was difficult for new productions: higher-ups wanted them, but it was hard for them to survive the ever-shifting demands of the state bureaucracy and censorship. Usually, it was safer to simply rework old classics with the right ideological spin. The Red Poppy too was nearly killed. In the spring of 1927, the culture commissar ordered the Bolshoi to bump it in favour of an opera by Prokofiev, as part of an effort to woo the acclaimed composer back from abroad. But then, the ballet found its moment. On 6 April, Chinese police raided the Soviet embassy in Beijing. Meanwhile, crisis was building in Shanghai. Nationalists had allied with communists to take control of the city, but had turned on them. Soviet papers filled with headlines about the slaughter of Chinese communists. The Red Poppy suddenly “resonated with the current political situation and thus received approval for performance,” writes Simon Morrison, a music professor at Princeton University, in his book Bolshoi Confidential.


Britain had established the East India Company in 1600 in part to gain access to the Chinese market. Thereafter the company enjoyed a monopoly over Britain's trade with China. Given Britain's growing demand for tea, porcelain, and silk from China, trade between China and Britain remained in China's favor down to the early nineteenth century. In order to find money to pay for these goods and cover the trade deficit, the company started to import opium to China in large quantities starting in the mid-eighteenth century. The size of these imports increased tenfold between 1800 and 1840 and provided the British with the means to pay for the tea and other goods imported from China. By the 1820s the trade balance had shifted in Britain's favor, and opium became a major commercial and diplomatic issue between China and Britain.

The opium trade was illegal in China. The Qing state had banned opium sales that were not strictly for medical purposes as early as 1729. But the law was not rigorously enforced. A century later more Chinese people had become opium smokers, which made enforcement of the ban more difficult. By the mid-1830s growing drug addiction had created such serious economic, social, financial, and political problems in China that many Chinese scholars and officials were becoming concerned about the resulting currency drain, moral decay, and diminishment of the military forces' fighting capacity. They argued that China had to ban the opium trade once and for all.

The emperor agreed and in 1838 decided that the opium trade must be stopped. He sent an official named Lin Zexu (1785–1850) to Guangzhou with a special mandate to solve the opium problem. Lin launched a comprehensive attack on the opium trade, targeting users as well as providers of the drug. In his dealing with British opium traders, he used a combination of reason, moral suasion, and coercion. He even sent a letter to Queen Victoria to argue his case. In his carefully phrased letter, Lin tried to appeal to the British queen's sense of moral responsibility and legality. When reason and moral suasion did not work, Lin blockaded the residence compound of the foreign opium traders, including the British superintendent in Guangzhou, to force them to give up more than twenty thousand chests of opium.

The goods from China carried away by your country not only supply your own consumption and use, but also can be divided up and sold to other countries, producing a triple profit. Even if you do not sell opium, you still have this threefold profit. How can you bear to go further, selling products injurious to others in order to fulfill your insatiable desire?…Suppose there were people from another country who carried opium for sale to England and seduced your people into buying and smoking it certainly your honorable ruler would deeply hate it and be bitterly aroused.

Lin Zexu's Letter to Queen Victoria, 1839. In China's Responses to the West, edited by Ssu-yü Teng and John King Fairbanks. (Cambridge, 1954), p. 26.

For the Chinese, Lin's actions were about opium. For the British, however, the drug was a key component in their trade with China. Without the profits from opium, British merchants would not be able to pay for Chinese tea and silk, and Britain was prepared even to risk war to continue the opium trade. Because the opium trade was illegal in China, Britain could not officially argue for a war to protect the opium trade. Instead, it claimed that Lin's strong action on opium insulted British national honor. In 1834 the British government abolished the East India Company's monopoly on China trade. This had serious consequences for Anglo-Chinese relations because the chief representative of British interests in China now represented his country rather than the company, so that an insult to the British trade superintendent was now a matter of state. Britain also claimed that it went to war with China to promote free trade.

On these grounds, the full British fleet under Admiral George Elliot, consisting of sixteen warships and four newly designed steamships, arrived in Guangzhou in June 1840. They blockaded Guangzhou and Ningbo and fought their way farther up the north coast, and in 1840 threatened Tianjin, a port city close to Beijing. The Qing court agreed to negotiate, and in 1842 the Treaty of Nanjing concluded the first Opium War. As a result Hong Kong was ceded to Britain, and China was forced to abolish the Guangzhou system on which Chinese trade relations had been based for over a century and agreed to allow the British to trade and reside in four coastal cities in addition to Guangzhou: Shanghai, Fuzhou, Xiamen, and Ningbo. China in addition agreed to pay an indemnity of $21 million to cover the losses claimed by the British opium traders and Britain's war expenses. A supplement to the treaty signed in 1843 extended most-favored-nation treatment (a guarantee of trading equality) to Britain, and the Qing state later granted most-favored-nation treatment to all the Great Powers. The treaty therefore symbolized the beginning of the so-called century of shame for China. Other powers immediately followed suit and forced China to sign a series of unequal treaties. The foreign powers' unequal rights in China lasted until 1943. With the Treaty of Nanjing and the unequal treaties that followed, China lost its judicial and tariff autonomy and other crucial parts of its national sovereignty. Although the nineteenth century was a century of rivalries among major European powers, because of the most-favored-nation clause they continued to be allied against China.


The Opium Wars

The wars of 1839-42 and 1856-60 are a perfect case study of the divergence of opinion that the British Empire continues to generate.

Despite Niall Ferguson’s efforts in 2003 to partially rehabilitate British imperialism in his bestselling Ryk the subject still provokes angry debate. The recent revelations concerning the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s obliteration of archives dealing with British brutality in 1950s Africa and Malaya drew the Empire’s attackers and admirers into open combat. George Monbiot in the Voog lambasted defenders of the imperial legacy, while Lawrence James in the Daaglikse pos argued that ‘the Empire was a dynamic force for the regeneration of the world’.

The Opium Wars of 1839-42 and 1856-60 between Qing-dynasty China and Britain are a perfect case study of the international divergence of opinion that the Empire continues to generate. In China the conflicts – the first between it and a western nation – are a national wound: the start of a western conspiracy to destroy China with drugs and gunboats. In Britain the wars barely seem to register in public memory.

It is perhaps in its attempt to provide a strong intellectual rationale for the Opium Wars that Leslie Marchant’s 2002 article most clearly shows its age. It begins with a discussion of the ideological differences between the two sides: the British attachment to free trade and progress jibing with the traditional Confucian bias against merchants and commerce. Many earlier western commentators tried to play down opium as the casus belli, asserting instead that a clash of economic and political cultures lay behind the conflicts. They sought a moral justification for wars that were essentially about protecting an illegal, profitable drugs trade.

These days historians may prefer to focus on the amoral pounds, shillings and pence logic of the wars, arguing that they were about opium and the drug’s unique ability to balance the books, rather than a more intellectually respectable ‘collision of civilisations’. John Wong’s 1998 study of Britain’s second Opium War with China, Deadly Dreams, made clear Lord Palmerston’s dependency on opium revenues throughout the middle decades of the 19th century. In light of the British addiction to Chinese exports (silk, ceramics and tea), opium was the only commodity that saved the British balance of payments with Asia from ruinous deficit. Marchant argues that mid-century British merchants in China believed that a ‘just war’ should be fought to defend progress. In reality the British leaders of the opium trade through the 1830s and 1840s were far more interested in protecting their drug sales in order to fund lucrative retirement packages (one of their number, James Matheson, used such profits to buy a seat in Parliament and the Outer Hebridean island of Lewis).

Marchant also portrays opium as an absolute blight on 19th-century China. Over the past decade, however, Frank Dikötter, Lars Laaman and Zhou Xun have enhanced our understanding of late-imperial China’s opium culture. They have moved away from the idea that opium turned any casual smoker into a pathetic victim and have instead portrayed with increasing subtlety the economic, social and cultural realities of its use in China.

Yet there is much in Marchant’s article that remains relevant. He captures nicely the childish blitheness of the young Queen Victoria to the war in China (‘Albert is so amused at my having got the Island of Hong Kong’). He makes an important point, too, about the over-reliance of some earlier Anglophone historians on western sources and paradigms to interpret Chinese history and their neglect of internal Chinese factors. Until surprisingly recently, this remained a significant issue in Chinese studies. As late as 1984 an influential sinologist called Paul Cohen felt the need to call for a ‘China-centred’ history: one that relied on careful work in Chinese archives and examined Chinese history on its own terms. As a result we have seen an impressive body of works emerge that have re-examined a succession of Sino-western encounters through sources from both sides.

In the case of the Opium War the examination of Chinese materials has highlighted how split the court was on the question of an anti-opium crackdown how chaotic and absent-minded the Qing’s military and diplomatic response was and how politically complex ordinary Chinese reactions were to the British and the war. As doing research in China becomes easier and more archives open their collections to foreigners (although many materials from the 1960s and 1970s remain out of reach) the old bias towards western sources that Marchant acutely noted is happily becoming the stuff of history.

Julia Lovell is Senior Lecturer in Chinese History at Birbeck, University of London and is the author of The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams and the Making of China (Picador, 2011).


Kyk die video: Дан заставе Руске Федерације. Москва. 22. август 2019 (Januarie 2022).