Chinese Studies Opium Trade
by
Alan Baumler
  • LAST REVIEWED: 08 June 2017
  • LAST MODIFIED: 25 February 2014
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199920082-0075

Introduction

Chinese history textbooks begin the modern period of Chinese history at the First Opium War (1839–1842). This is not surprising, since opium was the most important commodity integrating China into global markets and an important part of China’s modern commercial transformation. Purging China of opium became one of the great projects of the modernizing states of the twentieth century, and the “opium plague” was one of the most important ways that foreigners explained Chinese backwardness and Chinese explained national humiliation. Much work has been done on the opium trade and the role of opium in Chinese nation-building. This literature has been dominated by discussions of drug suppression and the role of opium in Chinese state-making, especially for the period after 1907, when China was heavily influenced by new ideas about addiction coming from the West. The most recent scholarship has been influenced by the global literature on drug foods and changing meanings of drug consumption.

General Overviews

There are few western-language books that deal with the entire scope of the relationship between China and opium both in the Qing and the Republic; although Paules 2011 deals with the entire period, it is more focused on consumption and state-building than on economics. There are a number of Chinese studies that deal with the entire scope of the opium trade in China, but even these do not go beyond China to look at the diaspora and the broader issues connected to drug foods. Jiang and Zhu 1996, Wang 1997, and Su 1997 are general surveys of the opium trade and opium suppression in China from before the First Opium War to the present. Each is somewhat underfootnoted by contemporary standards, and all tend to focus on periods of the greatest state interest in the trade. All three contain a wealth of information. The essays in Brook and Wakabayashi 2000 are the best entry into the modern scholarly literature. Lovell 2011 provides the most up-to-date narrative of the Opium Wars and the role of opium in China’s relations with the outside world.

  • Brook, Timothy, and Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi, eds. Opium Regimes: China, Britain, and Japan, 1839–1952. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.

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    Edited volume, based on a 1997 conference. The introduction is quite helpful, and many of the individual essays are mentioned elsewhere in this bibliography. A vital reference point for modern scholarship on opium.

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    • Jiang Qiuming 蔣秋明 and Zhu Qingbao 朱庆葆. Zhongguo jindu licheng (中国禁毒历程). Tianjin, China: Tianjin jiaoyu chubanshe, 1996.

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      Focuses on the Guomindang period and Chiang Kai-shek’s Six Year Plan to eliminate opium.

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      • Lovell, Julia. The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams and the Making of China. London: Picador, 2011.

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        Balanced narrative of the First Opium War. Some discussion of the role of the war in later Chinese popular memory and how it grew to be the canonical case of foreign imperialism. Best introduction to the war and modern Chinese understandings of opium for undergraduates.

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        • Paules, Xavier. L’Opium: Une passion chinoise 1750–1850. Paris: Payot, 2011.

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          Best western-language survey of both the 19th- and 20th-century opium trades. Particularly good on opium’s macroeconomic impact and consumption patterns and on comparisons between periods.

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          • Su Zhiliang 苏智良. Zhongguo dupin shi (中国毒品史). Shanghai: Shanghai renmin chubanshe, 1997.

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            A survey of the opium trade that provides the best overview on the 19th century.

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            • Wang Hongbin 王宏斌. Jindu shi jian (禁毒史鉴). Changsha, China: Yuelu Shushi, 1997.

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              Of the Chinese-language surveys cited in this section, this is the most analytical and comparative between periods.

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              Primary Source Collections

              Chinese scholars have created a number of collections which reflect changing concerns with the opium issue. Qi, et al. 1954 and Zhongguo diyi lishi dang’an guan 1992 tend to be more interested in broader issues of Sino-foreign relations. Foreign Office 1974 and “Wenshi jinghua” bianji bu 1997 are focused on periods of greater government concern with opium and with the success and failures of suppression policies rather than economics and ideas about consumption. Ma 1998 is the broadest in its collection of sources. Baumler 2001 is intended for classroom use.

              • Baumler, Alan Thomas, ed. Modern China and Opium: A Reader. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2001.

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                A collection of English-language and translated sources dealing with different aspects of opium, including consumption, trade, and suppression campaigns from the 1830s to 1950s. Focused on the 20th century.

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                • Foreign Office (Great Britain). The Opium Trade 1910–1941. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 1974.

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                  Reprinted British Foreign Office documents. As the title dates suggest, they are all from the period after opium prohibition became official British policy. Most helpful for the New Policies period and the early Republic in China, but also includes documents on Overseas Chinese and British policy toward international drug control.

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                  • Ma Mozhen 马模贞, ed. Zhongguo jin du shi ziliao, 1729 nian–1949 nian (中国禁毒史资料, 1729年–1949年). Tianjin, China: Tianjin renmin chubanshe, 1998.

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                    A massive (over 1,600 pages) collection of sources, including everything from newspaper items to government decrees to selections from private diaries. Focuses more on opium suppression than the structure of the trade or patterns of consumption, but is still extremely broad in its coverage. Covers the entire period mentioned in the title, but with more sources from periods of more active suppression.

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                    • Qi Sihe 齊思和, Lin Shuhui 林樹惠, and Shou Jiyu 壽紀瑜, eds. Yapian zhanzheng (鴉片戰爭). Shanghai: Shengchou guoguangshe, 1954.

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                      Established the importance of the First Opium War in communist historiography. Emphasis on military and diplomatic history; contains some information on suppression campaigns, historiography of the conflict, and biographies of leading figures. Lacks scholarly apparatus.

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                      • Wenshi jinghua bianji bu 文史精华 编辑部. Jindai Zhongguo yandu xie zhen (近代中国烟毒写真). Shijiazhuang, China: Hebei renmin chubanshe, 1997.

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                        Wenshi ziliao(文史资料), local history journals, were published all over China. Opium use, opium suppression, and opium as an example of the evils of the old society were common topics for articles, and while Wenshi ziliao pieces can be of varying quality and vague on dates and provenance, this collection assembles most of the more helpful ones.

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                        • Zhongguo diyi lishi dang’an guan 中国第一历史档案馆, Yapian zhanzheng dang’an shiliao (鸦片战争档案史料) 7 vols. Tianjin, China: Tianjin guji chubanshe, 1992.

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                          Similar to but more recent than Qi, et al. 1954; reflects the changing concerns of mainland scholars. Deeper collection of documents on policy debates and more documents on opium smuggling and the process of opium suppression.

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                          Opium under the Qing

                          The two Opium Wars happened in the Qing, and later writers often assumed that the court saw opium as a drug plague, as it would be understood in the 20th century. In fact, state concerns about opium were largely focused on economics and foreign relations. While there was a good deal written on the nature of opium consumption, it is hard to fit much of this into the later narrative of addiction that was imported from the West.

                          The Opium Trade in the Qing

                          Between 1750 and 1900, imported, especially Indian, opium dominated the Chinese market. Zhong 2010, Hao 1986, Zhang 2010, and Hamashita 2008 all analyze the role of opium in connecting the Chinese economy to global markets. Lin Manhoung’s work (Lin 1979, Lin 1980, Lin 2006) focuses on the role of opium imports and taxation; the crucial historiographical issue is the “silver drain,” the question of how much influence opium imports had on China’s balance of trade and currency problems. Bello 2005 looks at the opium trade in the frontier regions.

                          • Bello, David Anthony. Opium and the Limits of Empire: Drug Prohibition in the Chinese Interior, 1729–1850. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005.

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                            Best account of early imports, production, and prohibition in Northwest and Southwest China, especially Xinjiang. A useful corrective to the normal focus on the coasts, and gives a clear analysis of the practical problems of prohibition. Compares Qing efforts at prohibition to British efforts at controlling production in India.

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                            • Hamashita, Takeshi. “Foreign Trade Finance in China: Silver, Opium, and World Market Incorporation, 1820s to 1850s.” Translated by Takechi Manabu. In China, East Asia and the Global Economy: Regional and Historical Perspectives. Edited by Mark Selden and Linda Grove, 114–144. London: Routledge, 2008.

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                              Detailed examination of the changing roles of silver and opium in China’s foreign trade.

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                              • Hao Yen-p’ing. The Commercial Revolution in Nineteenth-century China: The Rise of Sino-Western Mercantile Capitalism. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986.

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                                Argues that opium was vital to the development of commercial capitalism in the early 19th century as a way of accumulating capital, as a form of money, and as a way of integrating China into global markets. Argues in favor of the silver drain hypothesis. Focuses on a slightly earlier period than Wong 1998 (cited under Opium Wars)

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                                • Lin Manhong 林滿紅[Lin Man-Houng] “Wanqing yapian shui (1858–1909)(晚清的鴉片稅 (1858–1909)).” Si yu yan 思與言 16.5 (1979): 427–473.

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                                  Analysis of the various Late Qing opium taxes and their role in state finance.

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                                  • Lin Manhong 林滿紅 [Lin Man-Houng]. “Qingmou benguo yapian zhi daiti jinkou yapian (1858–1906) (清末本國鴉片之替代進口鴉片 (1858–1906)).” Jindaishi yanjiusuo jikan 近代史研究所集刊 9 (July 1980): 385–432.

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                                    Analysis of levels of consumption and the replacement of imported with domestic opium. Both of these are based primarily, but not entirely, on customs reports on opium imports, which are by far our best data on the opium trade in the Qing.

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                                    • Lin, Man-houng. China Upside Down: Currency, Society, and Ideologies, 1808–1856. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006.

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                                      Primarily concerned with Qing understandings of and solutions to currency problems. Concludes that while opium imports were one part of China’s silver problem, sluggish markets for Chinese tea and silk and declining production of silver in Latin America were more important.

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                                      • Zhang, Xin. “Is the Opium War a Defining Moment in Chinese History? A View from Trade Routes, Interregional Trade, and the Lower Yangzi.” Modern China Studies 17.2 (June 2010):75–126.

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                                        Argues that while the Opium Wars were important in reorienting Chinese trade patterns from a regional to an international focus, they were not the only cause of the change.

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                                        • Zhong Weimin 仲伟民. Chaye yu yapian: Shijiu shiji jingji quanqiuhua zhong de Zhongguo (茶叶与鸦片:十九世纪经济全球化中的中国). Beijing: Sanlian shudian, 2010.

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                                          Compares the role of the opium and tea trades in integrating China into the globalized market system, concluding that opium was a crucial part of China’s economic subordination. Argues against 1840 as a sharp break in China’s economic history. Parts of this argument are summarized in Weimin Zhong, “The Roles of Tea and Opium in Early Economic Globalization: A Perspective on China’s Crisis in the 19th Century,” Frontiers of History in China 5.1 (12 February, 2010): 86–105.

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                                          Opium Culture

                                          Under the Qing, opium consumption became a regular part of Chinese life, and it came to take on a host of meanings. Zheng 2005 provides a survey of some of the social roles opium came to be associated with. Keith McMahon has published a number of works that deal with the role of opium in Late Qing fiction, such as McMahon 2002, McMahon 2000, and McMahon 2005. Des Forges 2000 also looks at elite ideas about consumption. All of these works provide evidence of the multiple meanings assigned to opium use. Newman 1995 estimates levels of opium use in the Qing. Both Lin 2004 and Spence 1976 look at the relationship between domestic and imported opium.

                                          • Des Forges, Alexander. “Opium/Leisure/Shanghai.” In Opium Regimes: China, Britain, and Japan, 1839–1952. Edited by Timothy Brook and Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi, 167–188. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.

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                                            Uses Late Qing Shanghai guidebooks to examine how opium-smoking was used to represent urban life, including ideas about leisure and class division.

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                                            • Lin, Man-Houng. “Late Qing Perceptions of Native Opium.” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 64.1 (June 2004): 117–144.

                                              DOI: 10.2307/25066727Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                              Deals with the replacement of imported with domestic opium and the different ways consumption of different types of opium was understood. Good introduction to how opium was understood as a commodity.

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                                              • McMahon, Keith. “Opium and Sexuality in Late Qing Fiction.” Nan Nü 2.1 (2000): 129–179.

                                                DOI: 10.1163/156852600750072321Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                Looks at different uses of opium consumption in Late Qing fiction and in particular at how agency was assigned to male and female smokers.

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                                                • McMahon, Keith. The Fall of the God of Money: Opium Smoking in Nineteenth-Century China. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002.

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                                                  Looks at both positive and negative views of opium smoking in Western discourse on China and in Late Qing fiction. Analyzes opium’s role in understanding China both for Chinese and Western audiences. Includes an extensive analysis and translation of Zhang Changjia’s 1878 “Opium Talk,” one of the most important Qing texts on opium

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                                                  • McMahon, Keith. “Opium Smoking and Modern Subjectivity.” Postcolonial Studies 8.2 (2005): 165–180.

                                                    DOI: 10.1080/13688790500153588Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                    Opium-smoking as a modern form of subjectivity, which created a decentered modern self. This is in direct contradiction to the modern Chinese view of smoking as a feudal throwback.

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                                                    • Newman, R. K. “Opium Smoking in Late Imperial China: A Reconsideration.” Modern Asian Studies 29.4 (1 October 1995): 765–794.

                                                      DOI: 10.2307/312804Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                      Best attempt to estimate levels of opium use in Qing China. Particularly helpful because it attempts to estimate different patterns of consumption rather than using a simple dichotomy between nonusers and addicts.

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                                                      • Spence, Jonathan. “Opium Smoking in Ch’ing China.” In Conflict and Control in Late Imperial China. Edited by Frederic Wakeman and Carolyn Grant, 143–173. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976.

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                                                        One of the first Western-language scholarly works to deal with opium consumption. Also looks at imported and domestic opium and opium suppression.

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                                                        • Zheng, Yangwen. The Social Life of Opium in China. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

                                                          DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511819575Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                          Survey of some of the social roles of opium-smoking in the Qing. Very helpful for elite consumption and how it was understood. Some discussion of use by commoners and turn toward prohibitionist ideas.

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                                                          Opium Wars

                                                          The two Opium Wars (1839–1842, 1856–1860) transformed China’s foreign relations. Lin Zexu’s destruction of the foreign opium at Humen became one of the great symbols used in later Chinese anti-opium campaigns and the two wars have grown to be the canonical examples of foreign imperialism in China. The western-language historiography of the wars themselves has advanced relatively little in recent years, and Wakeman 1978 provides a good summary of the traditional scholarship. Tan 1978 and Wong 1998 emphasize the importance of opium itself in the dispute, as opposed to the older view that cultural differences were a more significant driver of the conflict (Chang 1964). The Chinese literature particular is particularly concerned with the role of the Opium Wars in China’s relationship with imperialism and modernization (Mao 2005, Xiao 1995). Polachek 1992 and Inoue 2004 look at Qing debates over opium policy. Lovell 2011 (cited under General Overviews) provides a good survey of the war.

                                                          • Chang, Hsin-pao. Commissioner Lin and the Opium War. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1964.

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                                                            Much more emphasis on the opium trade and its importance than older works; sees opium as “indispensable” but not essential to the conflict.

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                                                            • Inoue Hiromasa 井上裕正. Shindai ahen seisakushi no kenkyū (清代アヘン政策史の研究). Kyoto: Kyōto Daigaku Gakujutsu Shuppankai, 2004.

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                                                              Detailed examination of Qing debates on opium before 1840. Draws a distinction between officials who focused on controlling the domestic trade and those who favored a ban on imports. There is also a Chinese edition, Inoue Hiromasa 井上裕正, Qingdai yapian zhengce shi yanjiu (清代鸦片政策史研究). Lhasa: Xizang renmin chubanshe, 2011

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                                                              • Mao Haijian 茅海建. Tianchao de bengkui: Yapian zhanzheng zai yanjiu (天朝的崩溃:鸦片战争再研究). Beijing: Sanlian Shudian, 2005.

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                                                                Extensive analysis of the military aspects of the war. Rehabilitates the reputation of Qishan, but is more concerned with policy analysis than official morality, unlike many earlier Chinese works.

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                                                                • Polachek, James M. The Inner Opium War. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992.

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                                                                  Best English-language analysis of the debate over opium policy, although it is more concerned with policy formation and court politics than with the opium trade or opium suppression.

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                                                                  • Tan, Chung. China and the Brave New World: A Study of the Origins of the Opium War 1840–1842. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 1978.

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                                                                    Strongest statement of the position that opium and imperialism were central to the war and Sino-foreign relations.

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                                                                    • Wakeman, Frederick, Jr. “The Canton Trade and the Opium War.” In The Cambridge History of China. Vol. 10. Edited by Denis Twitchett and John K. Fairbank, 163–212. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1978.

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                                                                      Clear and helpful summary. Bibliographic essay provides a nice summary of older works.

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                                                                      • Wong, J. Y. Deadly Dreams: Opium, Imperialism, and the Arrow War (1856–1860) in China. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

                                                                        DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511572807Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                        A detailed examination of Britain’s political and economic policy toward China. Based mainly on British sources, which tended to downplay or ignore the importance of the opium trade, but Wong establishes the importance of opium to the revenue of both Britain and India, and thus to the relations between them and China.

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                                                                        • Xiao Zhizhi 萧致治. Yapian zhanzheng yu Lin Zexu yanjiu beilan (鸦片战争与林则徐研究备览). Wuhan, China: Hubei renmin chubanshe, 1995.

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                                                                          Survey of the major historiographical questions about the war. Includes a bibliography of works published between 1950 and 1994. An invaluable guide to the extensive PRC scholarship on the war.

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                                                                          Missionaries, Opium, and Western Views of China

                                                                          Christian missionaries were the most important sources of Western ideas about China (and opium) and one of the most important vectors for importing Western ideas about addiction into China in the late 19th century. Berridge and Edwards 1981 looks at the role of missionaries in creating modern ideas about addiction in the West, and Lodwick 1996 looks at how these were imported to China. Missionaries created some of the first opium treatment centers in China (Kang 2008), and Christian ideas about sin and redemption had a great impact on Chinese ideas about drug use. Sommer 2001, Richards 2002, and Ahmad 2007 all look at the role of opium in creating western ideas about the Chinese and empire in Asia.

                                                                          • Ahmad, Diana L. The Opium Debate and Chinese Exclusion Laws in the Nineteenth-Century American West. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 2007.

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                                                                            Foreign understandings of opium and its relationship to China were often based on discourse about local Overseas Chinese. Provides a brief introduction to American understanding of Chinese opium-smoking and a good bibliography on the extensive literature on the Overseas Chinese and the role of opium in the discourse about them.

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                                                                            • Berridge, Virginia, and Griffith Edwards. Opiate Use in Nineteenth-Century England. London: Allen Lane : New York: St. Martin’s, 1981.

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                                                                              First book to examine the development of the discourse of addiction in the West. Deals with the role of Chinese opium dens in Britain and missionary accounts of China in this process. A classic still well worth reading.

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                                                                              • Kang, David J. “The Unnoticed Battle against Yin’s Yin: Opium Chinese Women and Protestant Missionaries in Late Qing.” Global Asia Journal Paper 6 (2008).

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                                                                                Best discussion of missionary opium refuges, and one of the few pieces to deal with opium consumption and gender.

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                                                                                • Lodwick, Kathleen L. Crusaders against Opium: Protestant Missionaries in China 1874–1917. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1996.

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                                                                                  Deals with the role of missionaries in the debate over opium in the West. Helpful for understanding missionary discourse from the inside.

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                                                                                  • Richards, John F. “Opium and the British Indian Empire: The Royal Commission of 1895.” Modern Asian Studies 36.2 (May 2002): 375–420.

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                                                                                    Good summary of the major issues in one of the most important debates on colonial opium policy, which was driven by missionary concerns about the trade.

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                                                                                    • Sommer, Scott. “Missionaries, Opium and Imperialism in the Western Perception of the Japanese Colonial Empire in Taiwan.” In Authentic Chinese Christianity: Preludes to Its Development (Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries). Edited by Gu Weiying and Koen De Ridder. Leuven, Belgium: Leuven University Press, 2001.

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                                                                                      Shows how missionaries gradually became more critical of the nature of Japanese colonialism because of opium control policies. Shows how opium and missionary accounts were important in forming foreign views of Asian societies.

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                                                                                      Opium in Colonial Southeast Asia

                                                                                      Colonial empires in Asia relied on opium sales to finance their operations. These colonial systems were intimately related to China, in part because consumers were often overseas Chinese, in whom post-1911 Chinese governments took great interest, and in part because colonial opium monopolies and systems of control provided models for China. Trocki 1999 and Derks 2012 are broad studies of the role of opium in empire. Trocki 1990, Trocki 2005, and Rush 1990 are studies of opium farms in Southeast Asia. Goto-Shibata 2006 and Miners 1987 focus on opium monopolies after the beginning of the move toward prohibition.

                                                                                      • Derks, Hans. History of the Opium Problem: The Assault on the East, ca. 1600–1950. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2012.

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                                                                                        Highly polemical, based on Western-language sources. Has some surprising research lacunae and ascribes little agency to Asians, but does provide the most lengthy survey of opium and drug policy in colonial Asia. Especially helpful on the Dutch and French opium systems.

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                                                                                        • Goto-Shibata, Harumi. “Empire on the Cheap: The Control of Opium Smoking in the Straits Settlements, 1925–1939.” Modern Asian Studies 40.1 (1 February 2006): 59–80.

                                                                                          DOI: 10.2307/3876600Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                          Analyzes the functioning of a colonial opium monopoly in a period of growing international pressure for suppression.

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                                                                                          • Miners, Norman. Hong Kong under Imperial Rule, 1912–1941. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987.

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                                                                                            Chapters on the conflict between a central government that was eager to end the trade and local administrators, who were more reluctant. A typical pattern in the interwar period, both in the colonies and in China.

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                                                                                            • Rush, James R. Opium to Java: Revenue Farming and Chinese Enterprise in Colonial Indonesia, 1860–1910. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1990.

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                                                                                              Rush looks at Java, where the Chinese dominated distribution and were a major factor in consumption, but focuses more on later ethical criticisms of the farming system and the opium trade.

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                                                                                              • Trocki, Carl A. Opium and Empire: Chinese Society in Colonial Singapore, 1800–1910. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1990.

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                                                                                                Trocki’s study of Singapore looks at an area where consumers were overwhelmingly Chinese, and focuses on the role of the opium trade in Chinese commercial capitalism.

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                                                                                                • Trocki, Carl A. Opium, Empire, and the Global Political Economy: A Study of the Asian Opium Trade, 1750–1950. New York: Routledge, 1999.

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                                                                                                  Deals with the 19th-century opium trade, focusing on exports from India to China and Southeast Asia. Concludes that opium profits were essential to the fiscal stability of colonial empires and the creation of a capitalist political economy in Asia, although the British state increasingly distanced itself from direct connections with the trade.

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                                                                                                  • Trocki, Carl A. “A Drug on the Market: Opium and the Chinese in Southeast Asia, 1750–1880.” Journal of the Chinese Overseas 1.2 (November 2005): 147–168.

                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1353/jco.2007.0025Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                    Summary of the connections between the opium trade and the expansion of Chinese commercial networks in Southeast Asia. Emphasizes the importance of Chinese merchants in opium farms all over Southeast Asia.

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                                                                                                    Global Addiction

                                                                                                    China and opium cannot be understood without looking at the global rise of drug foods and the modern discourse of addiction. China and the Chinese were at the center of many ideas about addiction, drug use, and the drug plague. Courtwright 2002 is the best survey of the literature on drugs (see also Courtwright 2012). Mintz 1985 is the classic study of a drug food and how changes in a substance’s economic and political position led to changes in how consumption was understood. Valverde 1998 and Schmitt 2002 provide a comparison with understanding of drugs in Europe, and Matthee 2009 provides a broadly based comparison with another Asian society.

                                                                                                    • Courtwright, David T. Forces of Habit: Drugs and the Making of the Modern World. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002.

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                                                                                                      Best overall analytical survey of the history of psychoactive substances.

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                                                                                                      • Courtwright, David T. “Addiction and the Science of History.” Addiction 107.3 (2012): 486–492.

                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1111/j.1360–0443.2011.03723.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                        Summarizes some of the recent historical work on drugs.

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                                                                                                        • Matthee, Rudi. The Pursuit of Pleasure: Drugs and Stimulants in Iranian History, 1500–1900. Princeton University Press, 2009.

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                                                                                                          Excellent study on the role of stimulants in an Asian society.

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                                                                                                          • Mintz, Sidney W. Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History. New York: Viking, 1985.

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                                                                                                            No mention of China or opium, but this is the classic study of drug foods and how their distribution and political importance and understanding of their consumption changed over time.

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                                                                                                            • Schmitt, Cannon. “Narrating National Addictions: DeQuincy, Opium and Tea.” In High Anxieties Cultural Studies in Addiction. Edited by Janet Farrell Brodie and Marc Redfield, 63–84. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002.

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                                                                                                              Explains the role of opium in creating English ideas of China and the Orient.

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                                                                                                              • Valverde, Mariana. Diseases of the Will: Alcohol and the Dilemmas of Freedom. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

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                                                                                                                Alcohol was the most important intoxicant in Europe, and the development of ideas about opium addiction was heavily influenced by this model.

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                                                                                                                New Policies

                                                                                                                One of the New Policies reforms of 1905–1911 was opium suppression. This was the first modern anti-drug campaign informed by new ideas of addiction and modern ideas of citizenship. The campaign was connected to an agreement with the British to end the importation of Indian opium, making it the first international anti-opium campaign. The New Policies campaigns marked the end of foreign opium as a significant part of the market and provided a model for all later campaigns. Both production and consumption were drastically reduced, but both rebounded quickly after 1916. Madancy 2003 and Li 1978 examine the suppression side of the campaigns, while Liu 2005 looks at their relation to taxation. Li 1992 looks at the methods of mass propaganda used in the campaigns, while Madancy 2001 and Wyman 2000 look at popular reaction to them. Reins 1991 and Su and Liu 2009 look at the international context of the campaigns.

                                                                                                                • Li Xiaoti [Li Hsiao-t’i] 李孝悌. “Qingmo de jinyan yundong” (清末的禁烟運動). Shiyuan 史原 8 (September 1978): 161–193.

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                                                                                                                  Helpful summary of the New Policies anti-opium campaign.

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                                                                                                                  • Li Xiaoti [Li Hsiao-t’i] 李孝悌. Qingmo de xiaceng shehui qimeng yundong 1901–1911 (清末的下層社會啓蒙運動 1901–1911). Taipei: Zhongyang Yanjiuyuan, 1992.

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                                                                                                                    Deals more with the methods (vernacular newspapers, drama, speeches) used to spread new ideas, but there is a good deal on the anti-opium campaigns here.

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                                                                                                                    • Liu Zenghe 刘增合. Yapian shuishou yu Qingmo xinzheng (鸦片税收与清末新政). Beijing: Sanlian shudian, 2005.

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                                                                                                                      Looks at Late Qing opium taxation and suppression and struggles between central and local authorities for control of opium revenue. Concludes that opium revenues were a major source of finance for the New Policies reforms.

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                                                                                                                      • Madancy, Joyce. “Unearthing Popular Attitudes toward the Opium Trade and Opium Suppression in Late Qing and Early Republican Fujian.” Modern China 27.4 (October 2001): 436–483.

                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.2307/3181326Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                        Details popular opposition to poppy suppression as well as detailing structure of elite attempts at suppression.

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                                                                                                                        • Madancy, Joyce A. The Troublesome Legacy of Commissioner Lin: The Opium Trade and Opium Suppression in Fujian Province, 1820s to 1920s. Cambridge, UK: Harvard University Press, 2003.

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                                                                                                                          Looks at prohibition in Fujian both before and after 1911, concluding that campaigns were temporarily quite successful in reducing opium trade and consumption. Shows how opium suppression became an integral part of local elite reform and organization. Best study of the Late Qing/Early Republican campaigns.

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                                                                                                                          • Reins, Thomas D. “Reform, Nationalism and Internationalism: The Opium Suppression Movement in China and the Anglo-American Influence, 1900–1908.” Modern Asian Studies 25.1 (February 1991): 101–142.

                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.2307/312671Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                            A good short introduction to the international side of the campaigns. Also see Hosie 1914 (cited under International Sources)

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                                                                                                                            • Su Zhiliang 苏智良 and Liu Xiaohong 刘效红. Quanqiu jindu de kaiduan: 1909 nian Shanghai wanguo jinyanhui, (全球禁毒的开端: 1909年上海万国禁烟会). Shanghai: Sanlian Shudian, 2009.

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                                                                                                                              Only account of the first international anti-drug conference, held in Shanghai in 1909. Includes discussion of the Qing position and the influence of the conference on Chinese opinion as well as the progress of Qing suppression campaigns.

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                                                                                                                              • Wyman, Judith. “Opium and the State in Late-Qing Sichuan.” In Opium Regimes: China, Britain, and Japan, 1839–1952. Edited by Timothy Brook and Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi, 212–227. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.

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                                                                                                                                Details the successes of New Policies suppression in Sichuan, China’s most important opium-producing province.

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                                                                                                                                Opium and Drugs under the Republic

                                                                                                                                Under the Republic, opium suppression became a standard national policy, while opium taxes remained an important part of state finance. Frequent state and private campaigns against opium made its use increasingly less acceptable among the educated. It was also during this period that international agreements and organizations were important in Chinese drug policy, particularly in Chinese attempts to use the international community against Japan, which was increasingly involved in the drug trade in China, especially in the trade in new refined drugs like morphine and heroin.

                                                                                                                                National-Level Studies

                                                                                                                                Opium and drug suppression were official goals of all governments in the Republican period. A number of studies have drawn on the copious published and archival sources for the period to examine national-level opium suppression and control policies and how they connected to nation and state-building. Baumler 2007 and Zhou 1999 are broad studies that include material on earlier and later periods. Slack 2001 and Lai 1986 focus more on the Guomindang period. Dikotter, et al. 2004 includes coverage of other narcotics.

                                                                                                                                • Baumler, Alan. The Chinese and Opium under the Republic: Worse Than Floods and Wild Beasts. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                  Particularly concerned with the relationships between central and provincial opium policy and definitions of addiction, as well as the 1935 Six-Year Plan to Eliminate Opium, concluding that the plan was successful in removing opium from China’s political economy.

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                                                                                                                                  • Dikotter, Frank, Lars Laamann, and Zhou Xun. Narcotic Culture: A History of Drugs in China. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 2004.

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                                                                                                                                    Argues that that the importation of Western ideas about addiction caused great suffering as a mostly harmless native culture of opium use was replaced by the much more dangerous commodities of morphine and heroin. Quite critical of the “opium plague” discourse, with strong sections on synthetic drugs.

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                                                                                                                                    • Lai Shuqing 頼淑卿. Guomin zhengfu liu nian jinyan jihua ji qi chengxiao: Minguo ershisi nian zhi minguo ershijiu nian (國民政府六年禁煙計畫及其成效: 民國二十四年至民國二十九年). Taipei: Guoshiguan, 1986.

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                                                                                                                                      Covers the Guomindang’s 1935 Six-Year Plan to eliminate opium and drugs. Best source on the formal organization of the campaign. Extensive appendix of official decrees.

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                                                                                                                                      • Slack, Edward R. Opium, State, and Society: China’s Narco-Economy and the Guomindang, 1924–1937. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2001.

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                                                                                                                                        Focuses on Guomindang opium policy, and especially the role of opium monopoly revenue in the politics of the 1920s and 1930s, as well as public criticism of GMD opium policies.

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                                                                                                                                        • Zhou, Yongming. Anti-drug Crusades in Twentieth-century China: Nationalism, History, and State Building. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1999.

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                                                                                                                                          Covers the entire period from the Late Qing to the present. Particularly helpful for its account of the communists’ successful anti-opium campaigns in the early 1950s, which drew on methods developed under the Guomindang as well as CCP methods of mass mobilization.

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                                                                                                                                          Local and Provincial Studies

                                                                                                                                          National studies often obscure the extent to which the opium complex varied across China. Producing versus consuming provinces, urban versus rural areas, and areas more or less controlled by the central government were all quite different. There are a number of valuable provincial-level studies, including Xiao 2008, Qin 1998, Hall 1976, and Li 2009. Ho 2006 and Paules 2010 look at urban opium consumption. Chen 1990 is the only detailed study of opium policy in the communist-controlled areas. Bianco 2000 is the only study to look exclusively at peasant reactions to state opium policies, although others, most notably Qin 1998, also discuss peasants.

                                                                                                                                          • Bianco, Lucian. “The Responses of Opium Growers to Eradication Campaigns and the Poppy Tax, 1907–1949.” In Opium Regimes: China, Britain, and Japan, 1839–1952. Edited by Timothy Brook and Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi, 292–322. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.

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                                                                                                                                            One of the few studies to examine peasant resistance to poppy suppression, which was widespread and often successful.

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                                                                                                                                            • Chen Yongfa [Chen Yung-fa] 陳永發. “Hong taiyang xia de yingsuhua: Yapian maoyi yu Yanan moshi” (紅太陽下的罌粟花:鴉片貿易與延安模式). Xin shi xue 新史学 1.4 (February 1990): 41–118.

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                                                                                                                                              Details the communists’ extensive involvement in opium wholesaling in the northwest during the Yan’an period. A briefer version of the argument is his “The Blooming Poppy under the Red Sun: The Yan’an Way and the Opium Trade,” in New Perspectives on the Chinese Communist Revolution, edited by Tony Saich and Hans J. Van de Ven (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 1995), pp. 263–298.

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                                                                                                                                              • Hall, J. C. S. The Yunnan Provincial Faction 1927–1937. Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1976.

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                                                                                                                                                Most of the many studies of warlords include at least a brief discussion of the role of opium in warlord finances, but this this is the most extensive and valuable, explaining both the scope and importance of the opium trade in Yunnan and reasons for the provincial government to turn against the trade.

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                                                                                                                                                • Ho, Virgil. Understanding Canton: Rethinking Popular Culture in the Republican Period. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.

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                                                                                                                                                  Contrasts official and popular attitudes toward opium in Canton. Helpful for context on gambling, prostitution, opera, and other popular entertainments.

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                                                                                                                                                  • Li Xiaoxiong. Poppies and Politics in China: Sichuan Province, 1840s to 1940s. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2009.

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                                                                                                                                                    Primary focus is on the Republican period, when Sichuan was one of the most important opium-producing provinces and its politics was deeply connected to the trade. Section on opium trade in the minority areas.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Paules, Xavier. Histoire d’une drogue en sursis: L’opium à Canton, 1906–1936. Paris: Editions Ehess, 2010.

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                                                                                                                                                      Good study of consumption in a major urban area. Particularly strong on opium dens and understandings of opium consumption, although it also deals with state suppression campaigns and the fiscal role of opium.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Qin Heping 秦和平. Yunnan yapian wenti yu jinyan yundong (云南鸦片问题与禁烟运动). Chengdu, China: Sichuan renmin chubanshe, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                                        Well-researched and very detailed, especially on the 1920s and ’30s. Particularly good on peasant poppy growers in this major producing and exporting province.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Xiao Hongsong 肖红松. Jindai Hebei yandu yu zhili yanjiu (近代河北烟毒与治理研究). Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 2008.

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                                                                                                                                                          Thorough study of the nature of the trade and of consumption and suppression up to the Japanese occupation in a province that did not produce much opium. Particularly strong on the New Policies period, when Hebei got more attention from the central government than many other provinces.

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                                                                                                                                                          Drug Consumption

                                                                                                                                                          After the New Policies campaigns and importation of new ideas about the dangers of drugs, patterns of drug consumption began to change, in part due to pressures from state policies and in part because of changing ideas about drugs. Paules 2005 and Paules 2009 use Canton as a case study, as does Ho 2006 (cited under Local and Provincial Studies). It was also during this period that consumption of refined drugs began to spread, particularly in urban areas, as discussed in Traver 1992 and Harrison 2006. Dikotter, et al. 2004 (cited under National-Level Studies) is also helpful here.

                                                                                                                                                          • Harrison, Henrietta. “Narcotics, Nationalism and Class in China: The Transition from Opium to Morphine and Heroin in early 20th Century Shanxi.” East Asian History 32.33 (2006): 151–176.

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                                                                                                                                                            Argues that government anti-opium policies and changing patterns of consumption led to replacement of opium by cheaper and easier-to-use refined drugs. Excellent ethnographic detail on drug use and popular attitudes.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Paulès, Xavier. “In Search of Smokers: A Study of Canton Opium Smokers in the 1930s.” East Asian History 29 (June 2005): 107–128.

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                                                                                                                                                              Good analysis of official understandings of the opium smokers of Canton and how they were classified. Includes a case study of rickshaw pullers and a discussion of evidence about number of smokers and patterns of consumption. Best paired with Harrison 2006.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Paules, Xavier. “Anti-Opium Visual Propaganda and the Deglamorisation of Opium in China, 1895–1937.” European Journal of East Asian Studies 7.2 (2008): 229–262.

                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1163/156805808X372430Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                Explains the role of state and private propaganda, especially visual propaganda, in creating a negative view of opium consumption.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Paulès, Xavier. “Opium in the City: A Spatial Study of Guangzhou’s Opium Houses, 1923–1936.” Modern China 35.5 (1 September 2009): 495–526.

                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.2307/27746934Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                  Describes the locations and social roles of different types of opium-smoking establishments in the city and how they were regulated by the revolutionary state.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Traver, Harold. “Opium to Heroin: Restrictive Opium Legislation and the Rise of Heroin Consumption in Hong Kong.” Journal of Policy History 4.1 (1992): 307–324.

                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1017/S0898030600006394Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                    Argues that the switch to heroin came because the government was no longer actively promoting the sale of opium after the abolition of the opium monopoly in 1943.

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                                                                                                                                                                    Opium and Crime

                                                                                                                                                                    The dividing line between the legal and illegal drug trades was always blurry, but in many cases state organizations and criminal ones worked together directly. The international drug trade fit well with the needs and capabilities of national intelligence services. Domestically, local criminals were often involved in smuggling and distribution. Wakeman 1996 and Martin 1996 both look at the relationship between the Guomindang state and the opium trade. Meyer and Parssinen 2002 and Kobayashi 2000 look at the relationships between international drug trafficking and the Japanese Empire. Marshall 1991 does the same for the American empire.

                                                                                                                                                                    • Kobayashi, Motohiro. “Drug Operations by Resident Japanese in Tianjin.” In Opium Regimes: China, Britain, and Japan, 1839–1952. Edited by Timothy Brook and Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi, 152–166. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.

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                                                                                                                                                                      Looks at the conflicting roles of the Japanese state, military, and imperial subjects in the drug trade. Also see Driscoll 2010 (cited under Japanese Colonialism).

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Marshall, Jonathan. “Opium, Tungsten, and the Search for National Security, 1940–52.” Journal of Policy History 3.4 (1991): 440–467.

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                                                                                                                                                                        Connections between US security agencies and Dai Li and Du Yuesheng, a relationship which eventually led to the “golden triangle” of postwar Southeast Asia.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Martin, Brian G. The Shanghai Green Gang Politics and Organized Crime, 1919–1937. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.

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                                                                                                                                                                          Thorough analysis of the role of the Green Gang and the Shanghai underworld in Chinese politics and the opium trade. Focuses on Du Yuesheng and other top leaders and their connections to formal sources of power. This is a scholarly introduction to a topic that lends itself to sensationalism.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Meyer, Kathryn, and Terry Parssinen. Webs of Smoke: Smugglers, Warlords, Spies, and the History of the International Drug Trade. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002.

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                                                                                                                                                                            Chinese and Japanese state policies and connection to smuggling in the first half of the 20th century. Explains government attempts to both profit from and eliminate drugs as an example of “bureaucratic schizophrenia.” Valuable on international trafficking between the wars.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Wakeman, Frederic, Jr. Policing Shanghai, 1927–1937. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.

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                                                                                                                                                                              The best account of attempt to regulate and control the narcotics trade in Shanghai, which was especially complex given the conflicting jurisdictions.

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                                                                                                                                                                              Japanese Colonialism

                                                                                                                                                                              Like other colonizers in Asia, the Japanese financed their empire in part by selling drugs to their Chinese subjects. The Japanese were also more likely than other powers to oppose interwar efforts by the League of Nations to control and limit the trade. Opium and drugs were also an important part of Japan’s expansion into China before and after 1937. Jennings 1997 provides a clear summary of the role of opium and drugs in the Japanese empire. Wakabayashi 2000 provides an overview of the Japanese literature. Driscoll 2010, Lü 2004, Smith 2012, and Kingsberg 2012 all focus on Japanese imperialism in China’s northeast, where opium and drugs were particularly important. Martin 2003 and Eykholt 2000 both look at Chinese resistance to Japanese opium sales in occupied China.

                                                                                                                                                                              • Driscoll, Mark. Absolute Erotic, Absolute Grotesque: The Living, Dead and Undead in Japan’s Imperialism, 1895–1945. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010.

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                                                                                                                                                                                Looks at opium and drug trafficking and their roles in Japan’s “necropolitical capitalism.” Disagrees with Jennings 1997 on the degree of Japanese maleficence and the importance of the drug trade as a tool for counterinsurgency war. Sees smugglers and criminals as far more important than does other scholarship.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Eykholt, Mark S. “Resistance to Opium as a Social Evil in Wartime China.” In Opium Regimes: China, Britain, and Japan, 1839–1952. Edited by Timothy Brook and Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi, 363–376. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  Analyzes popular Chinese opposition to opium and drug sales in occupied Nanjing.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  • Jennings, John M. The Opium Empire: Japanese Imperialism and Drug Trafficking in Asia, 1895–1945. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1997.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    Provides a broad overview of Japanese policy regarding opium and drugs in the colonies, Japanese trafficking in China, and Japan’s position in the international drug control system. Shows that opium revenue was of major importance to the Japanese Empire. Less focus on wartime efforts to reduce the drug trade than in Smith 2012.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Kingsberg, Miriam. “Legitimating Empire, Legitimating Nation: The Scientific Study of Opium Addiction in Japanese Manchuria.” Journal of Japanese Studies 38.2 (Summer 2012): 325–351.

                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1353/jjs.2012.0068Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                      Examines the use of clinical research on addiction to legitimate Japanese imperialism and later Manchukuo nationalism.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lü Yonghua 吕永华. Wei Man shiqi de dongbei yandu (伪满时期的东北烟毒). Changchun, China: Jilin renmin chubanshe, 2004.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        A thorough condemnation of Japanese opium policy in Manchukuo. Reprints a number of government decrees.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • Martin, Brian G. “‘In My Heart I Opposed Opium’: Opium and the Politics of the Wang Jingwei Government, 1940–45.” European Journal of East Asian Studies 2.2 (September 2003): 365–410.

                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1163/157006103771378464Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                          Detailed discussion of wartime opium control systems and the Wang government’s shift toward opium suppression rather than revenue in 1944, after popular protests against the trade.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Smith, Norman. Alcohol, Opium, and Culture in China’s Northeast. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2012.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            Looks at discourse and policies dealing with two major intoxicants, alcohol and opium. Particularly valuable for discussion of gender in the context of hostesses and detailed discussion of addiction cures and clinics. Unlike Driscoll 2010, pays attention to the late wartime period, when Japan began actively limiting the drug and alcohol trades.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • Wakabayashi, Bob Tadashi. “‘Imperial Japanese’ Drug Trafficking in China: Historiographic Perspectives.” Sino-Japanese Studies 13.1 (October 2000): 3–20.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              Helpful survey and analysis of the Japanese language literature on trafficking. Concludes that the drug trade was more central to the expansion of the Japanese Empire than many scholars have credited.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              Drug Diplomacy

                                                                                                                                                                                              The first International drug control conference was held in Shanghai in 1909 (see Su and Liu 2009, cited under New Policies), and China remained a central part of the growing international system of drug control for the next forty years, both as a cautionary example of what could happen to a nation if drug use was uncontrolled and as the most important market for illegal drugs in the world. Chinese governments tried to use the international drug control system to present China as a modern nation and to defend the interests of overseas Chinese. McAllister 2000 and Walker 1991 are the most important surveys of the development of the system, with Knepper 2011 providing a focus on the League of Nations. Newman 1989 looks at international drug control in the context of the British Empire, and Goto-Shibata 2002 does the same in the context of the Japanese Empire.

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Goto-Shibata, Harumi. “The International Opium Conference of 1924–25 and Japan.” Modern Asian Studies 36.4 (October 2002): 969–991.

                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.2307/3876480Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                Details Japan’s complex relationship with the international drug control system.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                • Knepper, Paul. International Crime in the 20th Century: The League of Nations Era, 1919–1939. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  Provides a nice summary of League of Nations drug policies.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  • McAllister, William B. Drug Diplomacy in the Twentieth Century: An International History. London and New York: Routledge, 2000.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    More focused on the League of Nations, the UN, and the creation and functioning of international control organizations than Walker 1991. A useful short summary of his argument is “‘Wolf by the Ears’: The Dilemmas of Imperial Opium Policymaking in the Twentieth Century,” in Drugs and Empires: Essays in Modern Imperialism and Intoxication 1500–1930, edited by James Mills and Patricia Barton (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), pp. 204–220.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Newman, R. K. “India and the Anglo-Chinese Opium Agreements, 1907–14.” Modern Asian Studies 23.3 (January 1989): 525–560.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      Good summary of the different imperial interests involved in the opium trade, and especially its declining importance for the British.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Walker, William O. The Anglo-American Search for Order in Asia, 1912–1954. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        Role of drug control in American and British policy in Asia. Particularly good on the Guomindang’s success in convincing the Americans and British of China’s helpfulness and Japan’s danger in international drug control. A useful short summary of his argument is “A Grave Danger to the Peace of the East: Opium and Imperial Rivalry in China,” in Drugs and Empires: Essays in Modern Imperialism and Intoxication 1500–1930, edited by James Mills and Patricia Barton (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), pp. 185–203.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        International Sources

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The various international conferences and treaties generated reports and documents of considerable value in understanding patterns of drug distribution and understandings of the drug trades and their political and economic ramifications. The ones included here are those most useful for understanding China and the Overseas Chinese. Philippine Commission 1905 provides an early picture of colonial opium systems, and League of Nations 1930 provides a late one. Hosie 1914 is a good example of the role of foreign observers in Chinese opium suppression.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Opium Fiction

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Opium-smoking has frequently been used in fiction both by Chinese and foreigners, and historical writing and fictional narratives have often influenced each other. Lovell 2011 (cited under General Overviews) gives a good account of the role of opium in the Yellow Peril literature, but the works included here go beyond incidental use of opium as a metaphor. A Ying 1957 and Hanan 2009 are good sources on Chinese literary depictions on opium. Of the many works of historical fiction that deal with opium, Alai 2003, Ghosh 2008, and Ghosh 2011 stand out. Jin Xie 1997 (Yapian zhanzheng) is the ancestor of a slew of semiofficial films on Chinese history. All of these books (other than A Ying 1957) would be suitable for undergraduates.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • A Ying 阿英. Yapian Zhanzheng wenxue ji (鸦片战争文学集). Beijing: Guji chubanshe, 1957.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          Most comprehensive collection of Qing-period opium-related literature, including poetry, fiction, and prose.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Alai. Red Poppies: A Novel of Tibet. Translated by Sylvia Li-chun Lin and Howard Goldblatt. Mariner Books, 2003.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            Uses the opium trade as part of a depiction of the harshness of pre-liberation Tibetan society and the role of drugs in the political economy of the Republic.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Ghosh, Amitav. Sea of Poppies: A Novel. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              Uses the opium trade and opium consumption as part of a depiction of the interconnected nature of Asian societies in the 19th century.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Ghosh, Amitav. River of Smoke: A Novel. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                Continuation of Ghosh 2008, more focused on China.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Hanan, Patrick, trans. Courtesans and Opium: Romantic Illusions of the Fool of Yangzhou. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Translation of an anonymous 1848 novel. Particularly good on the relationship between prostitution and opium.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Xie Jin 谢晋, dir. Yapian zhanzheng (鸦片战争). Shanghai: Shanghai yin xiang gong si, 1997.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    English title: The Opium War. Released at the time of the handover of Hong Kong, this gives the standard modern nationalist interpretation of the war. One of the first big, semiofficial historical epics released in China.

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