Tal día como hoy.

¿Qué pasó el 29 de agosto de 1842?

Great Britain takes Hong Kong.

On this day the Chinese and British signed the Treaty of Nanking, which not only ended the war but also ceded Hong Kong Island to Great Britain.

During the century and a half since the Treaty was signed, Hong Kong has represented the ultimate in unfettered trade and tax-free wheeling and dealing that made its bussinessmen rich and eventually financed the spectacular Hong Kong skyline. The foundation of Hong Kong’s thriving economy and frenetic business life was opium.

In the early 19th century, freewheling British traders realised there was a fortune to be made in selling opium to the Chinese. And these men were just in the right position to grasp the opportunity, since opium was grown in abundance in British-controlled India. The Chinese objected (not so much to the sale of opium but to foreing traders garnering all the profits), but the British continued illegally to import the drug.

In 1839 the Chinese government decided to act, and launched an anti-opium campaign in Canton that culminated in the military take-over of a British factory and the confiscation of some 20,000 chest of opium. While the British were angrily demanding a return of their property, some inebriated British sailors killed a local Chinese, and the British government refused to hand over the culprits to the Chinese authorities. Deemed an insult to national sovereignty, the killing sparked the first Opium War, principally a naval conflict in the sea around Hong Kong.

The war lasted three years, and the British were easily victorious. But they could see that they now needed a safe and insulated base from which to trade. The result was the treaty of Nanking.

This should have ended the problem of opium trading, but it did not. In 1856 the British, this time joined by the French, fought a second Opium war, won it, and as result took over Kowloon, across the bay from Hong Kong. Finally, in 1898 Britain leased the New Territories (partly mainland, plus over 200 islands) for 99 years.

Britain built Hong Kong into one of the great trading and commercial cities of the world, but was forced to return it to China on 1 July 1997 when the lease on the New Territories expired and the Communist Chinese made it clear that they intended to take back all of Hong Kong, not just the part under lease.

W.B. Marsh & Bruce Carrick, 365.Your date with History.

Si hubo una revuelta y consiguiente guerra por el té. ¿por qué no por el opio, que pone más?

De piratilla a piratilla.
De piratilla a piratilla.

Héroes del silencio, Opio.