THE FIRST OPIUM WAR
At first there was an equal balance of trade between China and Europe,
but eventually China did not have a need for imports from Britain.
British wanted tea, silks and porcelain, but China only wanted silver.
To obtain silver, the British East India company grew opium in Bengal and sold it to Chinese smugglers for sale in China.
This led to an addiction problem in China which concerned the Chinese authorities.
The First Opium War developed when China tried to halt the opium trade.
The British used their naval power to defeat the Chinese, forcing them to sign the Treaty of Nanking.
In addition to other concessions, Hong Kong was ceded to the British in 1842.