Bitter Strength


HOST: I’m George Takei…Here is the story of the first global drug wars…Our final chapter of First Contacts. “Bitter Strength.”

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