micmix2002 on 20 Sep 2001 14:29:49 -0000

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Re: [rohrpost]Endlich geschafft: China's Propagandaministerium in Berlin

na ja. alles gut und schön in der argumentation wohl ein bisschen
neokonservativ und in der aufspreizung einer kulturellen geschichtlichkeit
zur anlastung an ein herrschendes regime fast schon naive propaganda. sorry.
aber die erklärungszusammenhänge laufen da wohl aus dem  ruder

vor fünftausend jahren : was war europa zu dieser zeit ?
und als hier nazis und faschisten am ruder waren, da waren die 1.940
jahre christlicher leidensontologie und kultureller errungenschaften auch
nix mehr, ... oder und die aufklärung .... ?

zur kleinen differenzierung ein text aus der näheren vergangenheit  eines
internationalen 19.jhdts.  .... als fwd ....

Chinese Cultural Studies:
Lin Zixu Lin Tse-Hsü (1839 CE)
Letter of Advice to Queen Victoria

>>From Ssuyu Teng and John Fairbank, China's Response to the West, (Cambridge
MA: Harvard University Press, 1954), repr. in Mark A. Kishlansky, ed.,
Sources of World History, Volume II, (New York: HarperCollins
CollegePublishers, 1995), pp. 266-69

[Kishlansky Introduction] Lin Tse-Hsu (1785-1850) was the Chinese
Commissioner in Canton whose actions precipitated the Opium Wars (1839-
1842). Although opium was used in China for centuries, it was not until the
opening of the tea trade to Dutch and British merchants that China was able
to import large quantities of the drug. By the early nineteenth century
opium was the principal product that the English East India Company traded
in China and opium addiction was becoming a widespread social problem. When
the emperor's own son died of an overdose, he decided to put an end to the
trade. Lin Tse-Hsü was sent.to Canton, the chief trading port of the East
India Company, with instructions to negoiate an end to the importation of
opium into China. The English merchants were uncooperative, so he seized
their stores of opium. This led to immediate military action. The Chinese
were decisively defeated and had to cede to a humiliating treaty that
legalized the opium trade. As a result commissioner Lin was dismissed from
office and sent into exile.
Lin Tse-Hsu's "Letter of Advice to Queen Victoria" was written before the
outbreak of the Opium Wars. It was a remarkably frank document, especially
given the usual highly stylized language of Chinese diplomacy. There remains
some question whether Queen Victoria ever read the letter.

A communication: magnificently our great Emperor soothes and pacifies China
and the foreign countries, regarding all with the same kindness. If there is
profit, then he shares it with the peoples of the world; if there is harm,
then he removes it on behalf of the world. This is because he takes the mind
of heaven and earth as his mind.
The kings of your honorable country by a tradition handed down from
generation to generation have always been noted for their politeness and
submissiveness. We have read your successive tributary memorials saying, "In
general our countrymen who go to trade in China have always received His
Majesty the Emperor's gracious treatment and equal justice." and so on.
Privately we are delighted with the way in which the honorable rulers of
your countip deeply understand the grand principles and are grateful for the
Celestial grace. For this reason the Celestial Court in soothing those from
afar has redoubled its polite and kind treatment. The profit from trade has
been enjoyed by them continuously for two hundred years. This is the source
>from which your country has become known for its wealth.
But after a long period of commercial intercourse, there appear among the
crowh of barbarians both good persons and bad, unevenly. Consequently there
are those who smuggle opium to seduce the Chinese people and so cause the
spread of the poison to all provinces. Such persons who only care to profit
themselves, and disregard their harm to others, are not tolerated by the
laws of heaven and are unanimoly hated by human beings. His Majesty the
Emperor, upon hearing of this, is in a towering rage. He has especially sent
me, his commissioner, to come to Kwangtung, and together with the
governor-general and governor jointly to investigate and settle this matter.
All those people in China who sell opium or smoke opium should receive the
death penalty. We trace the crime of those barbarians who through the years
have been selling opium, then the deep harm they have wrought and the great
profit they have usurped should fundamentally justify their execution
according to law. We take into to consideration, however, the fact that the
various barbarians have still known how to repent their crimes and return to
their allegiance to us by taking the 20,183 chests of opium from their
storeships and petitioning us, through their consular officer
[superintendent of trade], Elliot, to receive it. It has been entirely
destroyed and this has been faithfully reported to the Throne in several
memorials by this comissioner and his colleagues.
Fortunately we have received a specially extended favor Born His Majesty the
Emperor, who considers that for those who voluntarily surrender there are
still some circumstances to paliate their crime, and so for the time being
he has magnanimously excused them from punishment. But as for those who
again violate the opium prohibition, it is difficult for the law to pardon
them repeatedly. Having established new regulations, we presume that the
ruler of your honorable country, who takes delight in our culture and whose
disposition is inclined towards us, must be able to instruct the various
barbarians to observe the law with care. It is only neccessary to explain to
them the advantages and advantages and then they will know that the legal
code of the Celestial Court must be absolutely obeyed with awe.
We find your country is sixty or seventy thousand li [three li make one
mile, ordinarily] from China Yet there are barbanan ships that strive to
come here for trade for the purpose of making a great profit The wealth of
China is used to profit the barbarians. That is to say, the great profit
made by barbarians is all taken from the rightful share of China. By what
right do they then in return use the poisonous drug to injure the Chinese
people? Even though the barbarians may not necessarily intend to do us harm,
yet in coveting profit to an extreme, they have no regard for injuring
others. Let us ask, where is your conscience? I have heard that the smoking
of opium is very strictly forbidden by your country; that is because the
harm caused by opium is clearly understood. Since it is not permitted to do
harm to your own country, then even less should you let it be passed on to
the harm of other countries -- how much less to China! Of all that China
exports to foreign countries, there is not a single thing which is not
beneficial to peo ple: they are of benefit when eaten, or of benefit when
used, or of benefit when resold: all are beneficial. Is there a single
article from China which has done any harm to foreign countries? Take tea
and rhubarb, for example; the foreign countries cannot get along for a
single day without them. If China cuts off these benefits with no sympathy
for those who are to suffer, then what can the barbarians rely upon to keep
themselves alive? Moreover the woolens, camlets, and longells [i.e.,
textiles] of foreign countries cannot be woven unless they obtain Chinese
silk. If China, again, cuts off this beneficial export, what profit can the
barbarians expect to make? As for other foodstuffs, beginning with candy,
ginger, cinnamon, and so forth, and articles for use, beginning with silk,
satin, chinaware, and so on, all the things that must be had by foreign
countries are innumerable. On the other hand, articles coming from the
outside to China can only be used as toys. We can take them or get along
without them. Since they are not needed by China, what difficulty would
there be if we closed our the frontier and stopped the trade? Nevertheless,
our Celestial Court lets tea, silk, and other goods be shipped without limit
and circulated everywhere without begrudging it in the slightest. This is
for no other reason but to share the benefit with the people of the whole
world. The goods from China carried away by your country not only supply
your own consumption and use, but also can be divided up and sold to other
countries, producing a triple profit. Even if you do not sell opium, you
still have this threefold profit. How can you bear to go further, selling
products injurious to others in order to fulfill your insatiable desire?
Suppose there were people from another country who carried opium for sale to
and seduced your people into buying and smoking it; certainly your honorable
ruler would deeply hate it and be bitterly aroused. We have heard heretofore
that your honorable ruler is kind and benevolent. Naturally you would not
wish to give unto others what you yourself do not want. We have also heard
that the ships coming to Canton have all had regulations promulgated and
given to them in which it is stated that it is not permitted to carry
contraband goods. This indicates that the administrative orders of your
honorable rule have been originally strict and clear. Only because the
trading ships are numerous, heretofore perhaps they have not been examined
with care. Now after this communication has been dispatched and you have
clearly understood the strictness of the prohibitory laws of the Celestial
Gourt, certainly you will not let your subjects dare again to violate the
We have further learned that in London, the capital of your honorable rule,
and in Scotland,
Ireland, and other places, originally no opium has been produced. Only in
several places of India under your control such as Bengal, Madras, Bombay,
Patna, Benares, and Malwa has opium been planted from hill to hill, and
ponds h ave been opened for its manufacture. For months and years wark is
continued in order to accumulate the poison. The obnoxious odor ascends,
irritating heaven and frightening the spirits. Indeed you, O King, can
eradicate the opium plant in these places, hoe over the fields entirely, and
sow in its stead the five grains [millet, barley, wheat, etc.]. Anyone who
dares again attempt to plant and manufacture opium should be severely
punished. This will really be a great, benevolent government policy that
will increase the common weal and get rid of evil. For this, Heaven must
support you and the spirits must bring you good fortune, prolonging your old
age and extending your descendants. All will depend on this act.
As for the barbarian merchants who come to China, their food and drink and
all received by the gracious favor of our Celestial Court. Their accumulated
wealth is all benefit given with pleasure by our Celestial Court. They spend
rather few days in their own country but more time in Canton. To digest
clearly the le gal penalties as an aid to instruction has been a valid
principle in all ages. Suppose a man of another country comes to England to
trade, he still has to obey the English laws; how much more should he obey
in China the laws of the Celestial Dynasty?
Now we have set up regulations governing the Chinese people. He who sells
opium shall receive the death penalty and he who smokes it also the death
penalty. Now consider this: if the barbarians do not bring opium, then how
can the Chinese people resell it, and how can they smoke it? The fact is
that the wicked barbariians beguile the Ghinese people into a death trap.
How then can we grant life only to these barbarians? He who takes the life
of even one person still has to atone for it with his own life; yet is the
harm done by opium limited to the taking of one life only? Therefore in the
new regulations, in regard to those barbarians who bring opium to China, the
penalty is fixed at decapitation or strangulation. This is what is called
getting rid a harmful thing on behalf of mankind.
Moreover we have found that in the middle of the second month of this year
[April 9] Consul [Superintendent] Elliot of your nation, because the opium
prohibition law was very stern and severe, petitioned for an extension of
the time limit. He requested an estension of five months for India and its
adjacent harbours and related territories, and ten months for England
proper, after which they would act in conformity wi th the new regulations.
Now we, the commissioner and.others, have memorialized and have received the
extraordinary Celestial grace of His Majesty the Emperor, who has redoubled
his consideration and compassion. All those who from the period of the
coming one year (from England) or six months (from India) bring opium to
China by mistake, but who voluntarily confess and completely surrender their
opium, shall be exempt from their punishment. After this limit of time, if
there are still those who bring opium to China then they will plainly have
committed a wilful violation and shall at once be executed according to law,
with absolutely no clemency or pardon. This may be called the height of
kindness and the perfection of justice.
Our Celestial Dynasty rules over and supervises the myriad states, and
surely possesses
unfathomable spiritual dignity. Yet the Emperor cannot cear to execute
people without having first tried to reform them by instruction. Therefore
he especialiy prornulgates these fixed regulations. The barbarian merchants
of your country, if they wish to do business for a prolonged period, are
required to obey our statues respectfully and to cut off permanently the
source of opium. They must by no means try to test the
effectiveness of the law with their lives. May you, O King, check your
wicked and sift your wicked people
before they come to China, in order to guarantee the peace of your nation,
to show further the sincerity of your politeness and subrnissiveness, and to
let the two countries enjoy together the blessings of peace How fortunate,
how fortunate indeed! After receiving this dispatch will you immediately
give us a prompt reply regarding the details and circumstances of your
cutting off the opium traffic. be sure not to put this off. The above is
what has to be communicated.

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