Despite a long history of opiate use, the Chinese government, from the emperors of the Ming Dynasty to the leaders of the People's Republic, has consistently taken a firm stance against drug use and trade.

China's opposition to the influx of opium from British India resulted in two wars and ultimately weakened the Chinese government's ability to control drug use up through the beginning of the 20th century. Since that time, China has taken several steps, both domestically and internationally, to control the drug problem with varying degrees of success. Significant challenges arose during the 1970s as a result of market liberalization. With the opening of port cities to international trade, an unprecedented amount of narcotics flowed through the country, leading to a dramatic increase ...

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