The following is an excerpt from rt.com | June 25, 2018 |
The escalating trade war between the US and China has dominated headlines, dragged markets down and aroused fears of a full-scale global trade war as several countries respond to new US tariffs with tit-for-tat measures.
While US President Donald Trump claimed recently on Twitter that trade wars are “good” and “easy to win” — history paints a very different picture. Here’s a look at six past trade wars and the havoc they caused to the global economy.
The Opium Wars
When China attempted to suppress the opium trade in the mid 19th century — an illegal activity enjoyed mostly by British traders and the cause of widespread addiction and social problems — it led to armed conflict.
Or, as one analyst bluntly put it: “England went to war with China because it was upset that Chinese officials had shut down its drug trafficking racket and confiscated its dope.”
China burned more than 20,000 chests of opium, leading to a conflict which resulted in the ceding of Hong Kong to the British and an increase in the number of treaty ports where British ships could trade and reside.
A second conflict erupted when the British forces — this time joined by the French — fought again to extend their trading rights in the region. The end result was the establishment of more than 80 new treaty ports in China, the legalization of the importation of opium and rights for all foreign traders to travel within the country.
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