By The Jakarta Post at 1:38 PM 5/31/2020 (PDT)
The conflicts that have become known as the opium wars have very deep roots. Opium first found its way into China in the seventh century. This escalated into a full out smuggling trade, with attacks from both sides. Not only are there trade problems, with China blocking British trade completely, but there are opium issues as well. As the imperial commissioner put it, Britain is in a state of complete disarray.
China has put forward a treaty stating that Britain has to stop importing opium illegally, conduct 20% of trade without silver, and accept drug searches. China has called this an olive branch and a time bomb, saying that Britain must accept the treaty before something bad happens. Britain has not accepted the treaty yet, but China wants to make it clear that they do have other trade options such as America and France.
Tempers are evidently running short for China. They have discussed possible attacks from Britain and also possible ways to retaliate. However, Britain seems to have difficulties outside of attacking as well: India is growing increasingly angry and is in open mutiny.
As the debate progressed, Britain continued to refuse the treaty and China continued to insist that it be considered. For China, it is non-negotiable.
The Representative of Jardine, Matheson and Co. agreed to negotiate the deal. She had stated that she wants the deal even if Britain as a whole does not. However, since China wants Hong Kong ceded to them as a part of the treaty, this may not be plausible. Both sides have released information that is confidential and cannot be released to the press.
China has troops, and it has the economic upper hand. However, Britain is relentless in pushing back, and the debate is far from over.
To edit this page, click here.