How the Opium Wars Shaped China’s Approach to Trade Threats

No need to be caught off guard by the latest tweet from Donald Trump about tariffs and China. The underlying nature of Western economic links with the Asian nation today follows a pattern set by events almost 200 years ago. Britain, then the world’s pre-eminent industrial power, wanted to reduce its trade deficit with China and muscled Beijing to reduce barriers. The result was a conflict that weakened Imperial China irrevocably, but framed President Xi Jinping’s view of foreign relations. Stephen R. Platt, author of a new history of the opium conflict, speaks with Scott Lanman of Bloomberg News and Daniel Moss of Bloomberg Opinion about how much -- and how little -- has changed.

Running time 25:37

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