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History repeats itself? Modern opium war?, This trade dispute is TOO reminiscent of the opium war
Junzi
post Feb 22 2011, 12:18 AM
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Silver and opium
By Antal E Fekete

The Opium Wars do not belong to the glorious episodes of Western history. Rather, they were instances of shameful behavior the West still has not lived down.

Mercantilist governments resented the perpetual drain of silver from West to East in payment for Oriental goods (tea, silk, porcelain) that were in high demand in the Occident, while facing low demand in the Orient for Occidental goods. From the mid-17th century, more than 9 billion Troy ounces, or 290 thousand tonnes, of silver was absorbed by China from European countries in exchange for Chinese goods.

The British introduced opium along with tobacco as an export item to China in order to reduce the trade deficit. Under the




disguise of free trade, the British, the Spanish and the French, with the tacit approval of the Americans, continued sending their contraband to China through legitimate as well as illegitimate trade channels even after the Chinese dynasty put an embargo on opium imports.

Because of its strong appeal to the Chinese masses, and because of its highly addictive nature, opium appeared to be the ideal solution to the West’s trade problem. And, indeed, the flow of silver was first stopped, and then reversed. China was forced to pay silver for her addiction to opium smoking that was artificially induced by the pusher - the British.

Thus silver was replaced by opium as the mainstay of Western exports. In 1729 China, recognizing the growing problem of addiction and the debilitating and mind-corrupting nature of the drug, prohibited the sale and smoking of opium, allowing only a small quota of imports for medicinal purposes. The British defied the embargo and ban on opium trade, and encouraged smuggling. As a result, British exports of opium to China grew from an estimated 15 tonnes to 75 tonnes by 1773. This increased further to 900 tonnes by 1820; and to 1,400 tonnes annually by 1838 - an almost 100-fold increase in 100 years.

Something had to be done. The Chinese government introduced the death penalty for drug trafficking and put British processing and distributing facilities on Chinese soil under siege. Chinese troops boarded British ships in international waters carrying opium to Chinese ports and destroyed their cargo, in addition to the destruction of opium found on Chinese territory. The British accused the Chinese of destroying British property and sent a large British-Indian army to China in order to exact punishment.

British military superiority was clearly evident in the armed conflict. British warships wreaked havoc on coastal towns. After taking Canton (Guangzhou), the British sailed up the Yangtze River. They grabbed the tax barges, inflicting a devastating blow on the Chinese as imperial revenues were impossible to collect. In 1842, China sued for peace, with a pact that was concluded in Nanking and ratified the following year. In the treaty, China was forced to pay an indemnity to Britain, open four port cities where British subjects were given extraterritorial privileges, and cede Hong Kong to Britain. In 1844 the United States and France signed similar treaties with China.

These humiliating treaties were criticized in the House of Commons by William E Gladstone, who later served as prime minister. He was wondering "whether there had ever been a war more unjust in its origin, a war more calculated to cover Britain with permanent disgrace". The Foreign Secretary, Lord Palmerston, replied that nobody believed that the Chinese government’s motive was "the promotion of good moral habits", or that the war was fought to stem China's balance of trade deficit.

The American president, John Quincy Adams, chimed in during the debate by suggesting that opium was a "mere incident". According to him "the cause of the war was the arrogant and insupportable pretensions of China that she would hold commercial intercourse with the rest of mankind not upon terms of equal reciprocity, but upon the insulting and degrading forms of the relations between lord and vassal."

These words are echoed, 160 years later, by President Barack Obama's recent disdainful pronouncements to the effect that China's exchange-rate policy is unacceptable to the rest of mankind as it pretends that China's currency is that of the lord, and everybody else's is that of the vassal.

The peace of Nanking did not last. The Chinese searched a suspicious ship, and the British answered by putting the port city of Canton under siege in 1856, occupying it in 1857. The French also entered the fray. British troops were approaching Beijing and set on to destroy the Summer Palace. China again was forced to sue for peace. In the peace treaty of Tianjin, the port for Beijing, China yielded to the demand to create 10 new port cities, and granted foreigners free passage throughout the country. It also agreed to pay an indemnity of five million ounces of silver: three million to Britain and two million to France.

This deliberate humiliation of China by the Western powers contributed greatly to the loosening and ultimate snapping of the internal coherence of the Qing Dynasty, leading to the Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864), the Boxer Uprising (1899-1901) and, ultimately, to the downfall of the Qing Dynasty in 1912.

The present trade dispute between the US . and China is reminiscent of the background to the two Opium Wars. Once more, the issue is the humiliation and plunder of China as a "thank you" for China's favor of having provided consumer goods for which the West was unable to pay in terms of Western goods suitable for Chinese consumption. The only difference is the absence of opium in the dispute.

Oops, I take it back. The role of opium in the current dispute is played by paper. Paper dollars, to be precise.

In 1971, an atrocity was made that I call the Nixon-Friedman conspiracy. To cover up the shame and disgrace of the default of the US on its international gold obligations, Milton Friedman (following an earlier failed attempt of John Maynard Keynes) concocted a spurious and idiotic theory of floating exchange rates. It suggests that falling foreign exchange value of the domestic currency makes it stronger when in actual fact the opposite is true: it is made weaker as the terms of trade of the devaluing country deteriorates and that of its trading partners improves.

President Richard Nixon was quick to embrace the false theory of Friedman. No public debate of the plan was permitted then, or ever after. Under the new dispensation, the irredeemable dollar was to play the role of the ultimate extinguisher of debt, a preposterous idea. The scheme was imposed on the world under duress as part of the "new millennium", shaking off the "tyranny of gold", that "barbarous relic", the last remnant of superstition, the only remaining "anachronism of the Modern Age".

The ploy was played up and celebrated as a great scientific breakthrough, making it possible for man to shape his own destiny rationally, free of superstition, for the first time ever. Yet all it was a cheap trick to elevate the dishonored paper of an insolvent banker (the US) from scum to the holy of holies: international currency. The fact that fiat paper money has a history of 100% mortality was neatly side-stepped. Any questioning of the wisdom of experimenting with it in spite of logic and historical evidence was declared foggy-bottom reactionary thinking.

The amazing thing about this episode of the history of human folly was the ease with which it could be pushed down the throat of the rest of the world, including those nations that were directly hurt by it, such as the ones running a trade surplus with the US. Their savings went up in smoke.

The explanation for this self-destructing behavior is the addictive, debilitating and mind-corrosive nature of paper money, in direct analogy with that of opium. The high caused by administering the opium pipe to the patient (read: administering quantitative easing, or QE) had to be repeated when the effect faded by a fresh administration of more opium (read: QE2).

If the patient resists, like China did in 1840, then a holy opium war must be declared on it in the name of the right of others to free trade. Now 170 years later, a New China once more demurs against the paper-torture treatment it was subjected to by the American debt-mongers and opium pushers.

But beware: if the West starts another Opium War, this time it is not China that will be on the losing side.

Antal E Fekete has since 2001 been consulting professor at Sapientia University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania. In 1996, Professor Fekete won the first prize in the International Currency Essay contest sponsored by Bank Lips Ltd of Switzerland.

(Copyright 2011 Antal E Fekete)

This post has been edited by Junzi: Feb 22 2011, 01:09 AM
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MiCC
post Feb 22 2011, 12:27 AM
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Too bad back then we don't have the nukes and ICBM to take care of those white aggressors.

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Junzi
post Feb 22 2011, 12:33 AM
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I have a hard time understanding Western people. Don't they learn their evil doing from history?

All their history, they have been nothing but evil, but somehow their people could never realize this and had even have the courage to call the Western way is the right way. How is this possible? Is it from their education? Or is it just that their propagandists are the best and the most professionals in the world?

This post has been edited by Junzi: Feb 22 2011, 12:40 AM
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Titanium
post Feb 22 2011, 12:34 AM
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The US is in no position to pushing for a second Opium war. The author got the end part correctly.
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MiCC
post Feb 22 2011, 12:45 AM
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QUOTE (Junzi @ Feb 21 2011, 09:33 PM) *
I have a hard time understanding Western people.

All their history, they have been nothing but evil, but somehow their people could never realize this and had even have the courage to call the Western way is the right way. How is this possible? Is it from their education? Or is it just that their propagandists are the best and the most professionals in the world?


Karma, believe in it, they colonized most part of the world back in the 18th century, and now many of their former colony immigrants are immigrating to Europe, slowing diluting their gene pool into a mixture of everything. Soon white people will cease to be white people, it will be mixed people with white gene. "Non-whites will be majority in US and Europe by 2050 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2000/sep/03/race.world)"

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Junzi
post Feb 22 2011, 12:52 AM
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QUOTE (Titanium @ Feb 22 2011, 04:34 PM) *
The US is in no position to pushing for a second Opium war. The author got the end part correctly.


No, there will be no military war. But they still can throw rubbish (opium) at us, using their policy, i.e QE, tariffs pressuring ally to punish trade action with China.
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UnknownUsername
post Feb 22 2011, 01:00 AM
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western-jewish alliance. i blame you, you blame me and we keep fooling the rest

westerners who want to further their colonial goals using christianity and fake european jews who are both christian-jewish who dont give two $hits about religion. who will just as happily become buddhist to infiltrate another country.

happily promoted by the european colonialists and given full endorsement.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eRvKKDy6nM

This post has been edited by UnknownUsername: Feb 23 2011, 05:17 AM
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PeterKChan
post Feb 22 2011, 03:11 AM
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China is really too polite in all these disputes with the USA. They still think Asians are weak and easily pushed around. These redneck white Americans are esp. the most ungracious ones. Some Chinese companies go up there to buy up some long abandoned factories and provide them jobs, they still view the new owners with suspicion and skepticism. The Americans and white people in general, need to face up to the fact that the world doesn't totally revolve around them. Babylon, Rome and the British Empire have all fallen. Learn to coexist with your neighbor even if you don't like him!
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KraterosHellas
post Feb 22 2011, 03:41 AM
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QUOTE (PeterKChan @ Feb 22 2011, 03:11 AM) *
China is really too polite in all these disputes with the USA. They still think Asians are weak and easily pushed around. These redneck white Americans are esp. the most ungracious ones. Some Chinese companies go up there to buy up some long abandoned factories and provide them jobs, they still view the new owners with suspicion and skepticism. The Americans and white people in general, need to face up to the fact that the world doesn't totally revolve around them. Babylon, Rome and the British Empire have all fallen. Learn to coexist with your neighbor even if you don't like him!


america can take valuble lessons from europe. how they coped with the reality that they were no longer the dominant powers in the world after ww2 and decided to give up its colonies and rebuild their homes. america has faced it's similar crisis of eocnomic failures. it's time for them to look inwards and rebuild just as europeans have done. they can revitalize and retransform itself. that means giving up some of their military aspirations (particularly in east asia and middle-east), cooperating with the chinese on productive ventures relating to the eocnomy and technology instead of backstabbing them and building good relations with its enemies.
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Mid-Night_Sun
post Feb 22 2011, 06:22 AM
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China Leads Fight Against West's Economic Formula in Scrap at G-20 Meeting

"China led resistance to making bulging foreign-exchange reserves a measure of economic imbalances as Group of 20 finance officials struggled for consensus on realigning the skewed world economy."

http://www.asiafinest.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=255792



China has been doing things like this for awhile now. China is the last country to call a push over right now. they have done MANY things that challenged western supremacy in economics recently. well truthfully, not just economics. lets face it. sports as well. even military to some extent, not really compared to US but a lot of other western countries.

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catman
post Feb 22 2011, 09:38 PM
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Can we sell you weed? beerchug.gif
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swingdoctor
post Feb 23 2011, 12:49 AM
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But you know china is still artifically keeping her currency lowt o protect her markets. Many here argue that that is her right, which to be honest is fair enough. If the US then takes steps to protect her markets then as long as its not going to war or trading in drugs or something like that, it should also be fair enough.
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charizardpal
post Feb 23 2011, 02:32 AM
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QUOTE (Junzi @ Feb 22 2011, 01:18 AM) *
Silver and opium
By Antal E Fekete

Antal E Fekete has since 2001 been consulting professor at Sapientia University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania. In 1996, Professor Fekete won the first prize in the International Currency Essay contest sponsored by Bank Lips Ltd of Switzerland.

(Copyright 2011 Antal E Fekete)


I've enough read finance to tell you (or Anital, whatever the case may be) have gotten Nixon all wrong. Either that or one of you is seriously spinning what should be opaque knowledge so you can write propaganda about the present trade in some wildly unconnected, incoherent, and cynical way...
Maybe you're not aware, but the obvious reason we moved to floating rates is because the US had decided to leave the GOLD STANDARD.........Think about that for a moment while I review the history before Nixon left that standard in 1971.

Following WW1 Europeans had moved their gold to America where they thought it would be more secure from war, government seizure, etc. As a result America soon had larger stockpiles of gold than anyone else, and was eventually able to restore a de-facto gold standard (which had collapsed during a bout of fiat spending from 1914- up through the second world war.)
From the Brenton Woods conference until 1971 the world was pegged to the dollar, which was the only currency pegged to gold (in other words, the whole word was on the gold standard with the dollar as an intermediary.)

The reason Nixon left the gold standard is:
1) US gold reserves were running low (there are reasons why this standard couldn't last, other than the trade defecit, but I"ll let you research them.)
2) The Vietnam war and Great Society program had been so expensive that the government needed to print paper money to pay for the debts.

In my opinion no one wanted to leave the gold standard since it made currency exchange so easy and relatively riskless, (trade defecits could balance themselves out automatically too). However people were forced to because if they hadn't the US would have run out of gold and slipped into insolvency when people suddenly made a "run on the mint." The fact that no one since has tried to peg a currency to a dollar suggests governments like being able to control their own monetary policy, and being able to print money when they choose without having to wait for gold to enter the country. I looked up the author of that segment you copied, and found out she was in favor of restoring the gold standard. Lol, figures....Her paper in context is all about restoring that standard, which died out simply because it was unsustainable to begin with. Even at its height prior to WW1 the gold standard (as opposed to bimetalism) only lasted for...about 70-100 years.

Incidentaly, did you know that when the rest of the world had gone to the gold standard (Prior to WW1) China was one of the few countries still on the silver standard---up until WW1. Supposedly that's how they avoided the Great Depression. (If anyone has any good articles for reading material on the subject of the Great Depression and the silver standard in China let me know.)

This post has been edited by charizardpal: Feb 23 2011, 02:44 AM
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planxty
post Feb 23 2011, 05:01 AM
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QUOTE (Junzi @ Feb 22 2011, 06:33 AM) *
I have a hard time understanding Western people. Don't they learn their evil doing from history?

All their history, they have been nothing but evil, but somehow their people could never realize this and had even have the courage to call the Western way is the right way. How is this possible? Is it from their education? Or is it just that their propagandists are the best and the most professionals in the world?

When considering events like this, I think you have to draw a distinction between the government and the people of a country. At the time of the opium wars, the average UK citizen likely had no input to the policy and never voted on it. It was done by the few people in power at the time. Just like the Vietnam war, many US citizens were against it, some were even shot dead protesting against US involvement in Vietnam and SE Asia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent_State_shootings
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UnknownUsername
post Feb 23 2011, 05:16 AM
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QUOTE (planxty @ Feb 23 2011, 05:01 AM) *
When considering events like this, I think you have to draw a distinction between the government and the people of a country. At the time of the opium wars, the average UK citizen likely had no input to the policy and never voted on it. It was done by the few people in power at the time. Just like the Vietnam war, many US citizens were against it, some were even shot dead protesting against US involvement in Vietnam and SE Asia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent_State_shootings


rubbish western colonialists were rubbing their hands with glee and wanted colonialism round 2

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charizardpal
post Feb 24 2011, 02:40 AM
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QUOTE (UnknownUsername @ Feb 23 2011, 06:16 AM) *
rubbish western colonialists were rubbing their hands with glee and wanted colonialism round 2


You obviously know nothing about the Vietnam war. Read the wikipedia link he posted before spouting your mouth on things you're ignorant about.
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UnknownUsername
post Feb 24 2011, 05:57 AM
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QUOTE (charizardpal @ Feb 24 2011, 02:40 AM) *
You obviously know nothing about the Vietnam war. Read the wikipedia link he posted before spouting your mouth on things you're ignorant about.


No, you dont know anything about the vietnam war.

america wanted to test the waters and see how asians would react. they wanted to see if they could force their way through asia. they got fu-ked up, no matter how many bombs america threw on vietnam they just kept coming back.

the protests after years of war in vietnam was not because any american gave a damn about vietnam, it was because white americans were dying in droves in vietnam and they couldn't handle that.

wikipedia is $hit, people all over the world laugh at wikipedia and make jokes about it. only an utter fool would look at a wikipedia page, the 6 yr old kid walking down the road can edit a wikipedia page. if you used a wikipedia link anywhere in a research paper or any academic paper you would instantly receive an F on your paper.

This post has been edited by UnknownUsername: Feb 24 2011, 06:04 AM
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KraterosHellas
post Feb 24 2011, 07:23 AM
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QUOTE (UnknownUsername @ Feb 24 2011, 06:57 AM) *
No, you dont know anything about the vietnam war.

america wanted to test the waters and see how asians would react. they wanted to see if they could force their way through asia. they got fu-ked up, no matter how many bombs america threw on vietnam they just kept coming back.

the protests after years of war in vietnam was not because any american gave a damn about vietnam, it was because white americans were dying in droves in vietnam and they couldn't handle that.

wikipedia is $hit, people all over the world laugh at wikipedia and make jokes about it. only an utter fool would look at a wikipedia page, the 6 yr old kid walking down the road can edit a wikipedia page. if you used a wikipedia link anywhere in a research paper or any academic paper you would instantly receive an F on your paper.


some of the vietnam war atrocities i read in american history class were absolutely gruesome. this is one of the reasons why i'm adamently opposed to US military presence in east asia.
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charizardpal
post Feb 24 2011, 10:31 AM
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QUOTE (UnknownUsername @ Feb 24 2011, 06:57 AM) *
No, you dont know anything about the vietnam war.

america wanted to test the waters and see how asians would react. they wanted to see if they could force their way through asia. they got fu-ked up, no matter how many bombs america threw on vietnam they just kept coming back.

the protests after years of war in vietnam was not because any american gave a damn about vietnam, it was because white americans were dying in droves in vietnam and they couldn't handle that.

wikipedia is $hit, people all over the world laugh at wikipedia and make jokes about it. only an utter fool would look at a wikipedia page, the 6 yr old kid walking down the road can edit a wikipedia page. if you used a wikipedia link anywhere in a research paper or any academic paper you would instantly receive an F on your paper.


To the contrary a lot of people did not want to be involved in that war almost from the very beginning. When news about the Mai Lai massacre got out there was a surge in the protests. There were multiple factors involved in the protest--the length of the war, number of dead, the minorities chosen for selective service, and the ethical standpoint of occupying a country that didn't want to be occupied. There were always both doves and hawks in that war. Later on the hippies went on a strange tangent and started doing LSD and hugging trees, but that's another matter...

Fact is wikipedia is the best source I can give you when I assume you're unknowledgable because its an interconnected portal to myriad topics.
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Junzi
post Feb 24 2011, 10:37 AM
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QUOTE (planxty @ Feb 23 2011, 09:01 PM) *
When considering events like this, I think you have to draw a distinction between the government and the people of a country. At the time of the opium wars, the average UK citizen likely had no input to the policy and never voted on it. It was done by the few people in power at the time. Just like the Vietnam war, many US citizens were against it, some were even shot dead protesting against US involvement in Vietnam and SE Asia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent_State_shootings


Then you haven't been studying your history good enough.

During the colonization of America, white people took the incentive to kill the native Indian. White people took the incentive to have black slaves. Are you telling me it is the state-doings?

I can give you so many records of the white people gruesome acts, it is ridiculous to argue otherwise.

There are those with conscious of course, but they are as scarce as a hen's teeth. The rest, I still can not fathom, if its just a very good propaganda or its in their education.

This post has been edited by Junzi: Feb 24 2011, 10:41 AM
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