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Opium Wars

The Opium Wars were two wars in the mid-19th century involving Great Qing and the British Government and concerned their imposition of trade of opium upon China. The resulting concession of Hong Kong compromised China's territorial sovereignty; the clashes included the First Opium War, with the British naval forces, the Second Opium War known as the Arrow or Anglo-French Wars to the Chinese. The wars and subsequently-imposed treaties weakened the Qing dynasty and Chinese governments, forced China to open specified treaty ports that handled all trade with imperial powers. Around this time China's economy contracted but the sizable Taiping Rebellion and Dungan Revolt had a much larger effect; the First Opium War began in 1839 and was fought over illegal opium trade, financial reparations, diplomatic status. In the late 18th century, the British East India Company, contravening Chinese laws, began smuggling Indian opium into China and became the leading suppliers by 1773. By 1787, the Company was illegally sending 4,000 chests of opium to China a year.

The Chinese Jiaqing Emperor passed many decrees/edicts making opium trade illegal in 1729, 1799, 1814, 1831, but smuggling still occurred as the British paid smugglers to take opium into China, causing the population to become more and more addicted. This in turn let tons of opium into China's markets; some Americans entered the trade by smuggling opium from Turkey into China. By 1833, the number of chests of opium trafficked into China soared to 30,000. According to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the East India Company sent the opium to their warehouses in the free trade region of Canton, from where Chinese smugglers would take the opium farther into China. In 1834, the East India Company's monopoly ceased; the illegal trade, continued. In 1839, the Lin Tse-hsu Letter—pleading for a halt to the opium contraband—was sent to the British monarch Queen Victoria but ignored. Subsequently, the Emperor issued an edict ordering the seizure of all opium in Canton, including that held by foreign governments, placed matters in the hands of High Commissioner Lin Tse-hsu.

The smugglers lost 20,000 chests of opium without compensation. China attempted to get foreign companies to forfeit their opium stores in exchange for tea, but this failed. China resorted to using force in the western merchants' enclave. Forces confiscated all supplies and ordered a blockade of foreign ships to get them to surrender their illegal opium supply; the British trade commissioner in Canton, Captain Charles Elliot, wrote to London advising the use of military force against the Chinese. A year passed before the British government decided, in May 1840, to send troops to impose reparations for the economic losses of the British traders in Canton, including financial compensation, to guarantee future security for smugglers. However, the first hostilities had occurred some months earlier with a skirmish between British and Chinese vessels in the Kowloon Estuary on 4 September 1839. On 21 June 1840 a British naval force moved to bombard the port of Ting-ha. In the ensuing conflict, the Royal Navy used its naval and gunnery power to inflict a series of decisive defeats on the Chinese Empire, a tactic referred to as gunboat diplomacy.

The war was concluded by the Treaty of Nanking in 1842, the first of the treaties between China and foreign powers. The treaty forced China to cede the Hong Kong island with surrounding smaller islands to the United Kingdom in perpetuity, it established five treaty ports at Shanghai, Ningpo and Amoy; the treaty demanded a twenty-one million dollar payment to Great Britain, with six million paid and the rest through specified instalments thereafter. Another treaty the following year gave most favored nation status to the British Empire and added provisions for British extraterritoriality. France secured concessions on the same terms as the British in treaties of 1843 and 1844. In 1853 civil war broke out in China with a rival Emperor establishing himself at Nanking. In spite of this, a new Imperial Commissioner, Yeh Ming-ch'en, was appointed at Canton, the principal trading port of foreigners. In October 1856 he threw its crew into chains. Sir John Bowring, Governor of Hong Kong, called up Admiral Sir Michael Seymour's fleet which, on 23 October and captured the forts which guarded the approach to Canton on the Pearl River, proceeded to bombard Canton itself but had insufficient forces to take and hold the city.

On 15 December, during a riot in Canton, European commercial properties were set on fire and Bowring appealed for military intervention. Following the murder of a French missionary, Britain now had French support. Britain now sought greater concessions from China, including legalization of the opium trade, to expand trade in coolies, to open all of China to British merchants and opium traffickers, to exempt foreign imports from internal transit duties; the war resulted in the Treaty of Tientsin, which forced the Chinese to pay reparations for the expenses of the recent war, open a second group of ten ports to European commerce, legalize the opium trade, grant foreign traders and missionaries rights to travel within China. History of opium in China Beeching, Jack; the Chinese Opium Wars Fay, Peter Ward. The Opium War, 1840-1842: barbarians in the Celestial Empire in the early part of the nineteenth century and the war by which th

Nils Steen

Nils Steen was a Norwegian businessman. He was born in Kristiania as a son of businessperson Christian Strøm Lilli Bing, he was thus a brother of Emil Steen, grandson of Peter Emil Steen, nephew of Johan and Emil Steen, a first cousin of Erling and Fredrik Steen. In 1925 he married daughter of an explosives company executive, he took commercial education in Norway and abroad, was hired in the family company Steen & Strøm in 1919. Together with his first cousin Erling Steen and Eyvind Strøm, who both too entered the company in the 1910s, he took over the leadership in the 1930s. Nils Steen became director in 1932. After becoming chief executive in 1960 he continued as chairman of the board. During the occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany, acting chief executive Nils Steen and chairman Erling Steen abide by the trade policies of the occupiers. Erling Steen was imprisoned for a period, in May 1943 the wholesaling and retailing departments of Steen & Strøm were shut down by the authorities, he was a supervisory council member of Oslo Sparebank from 1943 to 1953, in the enterprise organizations he was a board member of Handelens Arbeidsgiverforening from 1938 to 1948, of Oslo Manufakturkjøbmenns Forening from 1946 to 1947 and their representative in Oslo Chamber of Commerce from 1945 to 1951.

He resided at Gjettum farm since 1932, was a member of Bærum municipal council from 1948 to 1951, elected on a joint list of the Conservative and Agrarian parties. He was decorated with the King's Medal of Merit in gold in 1964, he died in September 1968

Room That Echoes

"Room That Echoes" (also called "Room That Echoes is a 1985 single from New Zealand pop band Peking Man. It peaked at number one in the New Zealand singles chart; the song was included on Peking Man's self-titled album. The song was written by band saxophone player Neville Hall and features lead vocals from Margaret Urlich, with Pat Urlich on backing vocals. "Room That Echoes" won Best Single at the 1986 New Zealand Music Awards, along with five other wins for Peking Man. In 2001 the song was voted by New Zealand members of APRA as the 79th best New Zealand song of the 20th century; the song appeared on the associated compilation CD Nature's Best 3, the video was on the Nature's Best DVD. Two music videos were made for "Room That Echoes"; the first was directed by John Day and used computer-generated 3D graphics, with a silhouette of singer Margaret Urlich dancing. The second version is a live-action video. Music video at NZ On Screen Music video on YouTube "Room That Echoes" at Discogs