Re: “British opium wars not equivalent to poisoning”, have Your Say, April 23.
Robin Grant tries to use clever language to distort the fact that his Queen Victoria used opium to rectify a trade imbalance with china (against tea and silk). Mr Grant writes of opium that the Chinese “were only too happy to take it”. The truth is that every country has a significant number of innocent but hapless citizens. When Colombia sends unlimited amounts of cocaine to the US, a lot of innocent, hapless American citizens are also “too happy to take it” – but is the US government happy too?
According to data from the Hall of Opium Museum in Chiang Rai, after Britain won the Opium Wars, its annual sales of the drug to China exceeded the Chinese national budget by six times. Hardly a benevolent trade policy.
Meanwhile, farang like to use Tibet as a reason to criticise China. Tibet has in fact been a part of China (on and off) for centuries, like the relationship England has had with Scotland and Ireland. But Britain crossed the ocean to usurp India (also the Australian continent, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, etc), then sent troops led by Colonel Francis Younghusband into Tibet (for no reason) and slaughtered thousands of innocent Tibetans who were armed only with ancient weapons.
Robin Grant can twist language to argue that his ancestors’ actions were legitimate. But the fact remains that crossing seas to usurp other countries and also poison their citizens are hellish crimes.