The first English ship came to China in 1626. And the English became addicted to Chinese tea. By 1785, the English East India Company paid China 35 million pounds sterling per year for it. Most of Britain, America and some other European countries loved their tea. But rather than pay cash, they wanted to trade with China. But China didn’t need any goods. It was growing increasingly wealthy from tea sales. So Britain began selling Indian opium to China. And the British used their profits to buy tea. The opium trade was not legal in either country, and China fought back. Thus began the Opium Wars.
Professor Jack Tchen, Professor Judy Yung, and Actor Jason Wong.