Tea and Poppy.jpg

The Qing Dynasty is in a rather delicate situation.  For the past several decades, China has maintained a very favorable trade imbalance between itself and Europe, filling the royal coiffers with gold from selling mainly tea and silver.  Even better, they have successfully kept European influence at bay with the adoption of the Canton system, which forces the Europeans to trade under very specific circumstances. However, to counteract the trade imbalance, Britain began selling opium poppy to Chinese merchants; now almost a third of the country is addicted to the drug.  The emperor has just created an imperial commission to fight the epidemic and given them the jurisdiction to effect change, but they must also contend with growing British animosity towards trade restrictions. Will the commission successfully navigate growing tensions with British while also saving their country, or will they drag China into a war they cannot win?

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