Morality of Opium Sales

By Sky News at 1:33 PM 5/30/2020 (PDT)

As more and more of the Chinese population get addicted as a result of the increasing importation of opium into their country, Chinese officials are scrambling to reemerge from the damage caused by widespread addiction. However, the British are in an equally difficult position as they rely on opium as their sole factor for success in economic transactions with China.

In efforts to thwart the bans placed on opium by the Chinese, British officials must decide on their priorities. While some deliberate on the morality of increasing drug addiction rates, others take on a more tactical strategy in using the addicted population for financial gain.

For instance, the Representative of Dent and Co expressed the need to find an advantageous strategy with the opium already imported into China. Instead of focusing on shipping more and more into China, they want to shift gears to the already-addicted population. However, is using the addicted population as a pawn in economic gain a better solution than importing more opium? Perhaps, the British should openly negotiate and import additional opium into China.

Some who expressed this view include, the Governor of Macau and the Commander in Chief of the East Indies. The governor believed that Macau would be a prime location for the unloading of opium and claims, in contrary to the Representative of Dent and Co, that smuggling efforts should be increased. Similarly, the Commander in Chief proclaims that instead of focusing on the already addicted public, the British should prioritize increased shipping of opium into China. He blatantly stated that the health of Chinese citizens should not be a concern, and instead, the financial gain and opportunity that comes with their actions should be their main focus.

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