China’s Attack on the Opium Problem -- By: George D. Wilder
BSac 72:286 (April 1915) p. 208
China’s Attack on the Opium Problem
China’s marvelous success in her battle with the opium evil in recent years, together with the growth of Christian public opinion which has compelled the British Government to relinquish enormous revenue and honestly help China in her fight, have brought the opium problem to the attention of the world with a new interest. This interest is heightened by the attitude of the municipal councils of foreign concessions in China and of the money power aiding the opium merchants to thwart the great Chinese and British peoples in their efforts to stop the ruinous traffic. The difficulty which England, America, France, Russia, and other nations have found in fighting drug habits, alcoholism, etc., makes a study of China’s amazingly successful fight well worth our while. In order to understand it, we need to consider how China came to have an opium problem. The reader who is familiar with the history may well turn nearly to the middle of this article, where the developments since 190C are treated.
It has been a common impression that the Chinese have been addicted to the use of the drug from time immemorial, and that the British opium trade has but ministered to a demand that previously existed. On the contrary, a study of history shows that the Chinese, although they knew of the medicinal uses of the drug as early as the twelfth century, knew nothing of the method of smoking it for pleasure, and
BSac 72:286 (April 1915) p. 209
relief from pain, until about 1700
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