A Brief Analysis on the Opium Export from the Chinese Mainland to Macao During the 1950s American Embargo Against China

Chan-U LAM


Majority of the studies on Macao’s opium history focuses on Macao’s roles in opium trade or opium smuggling during the Qing Dynasty. Comparatively, the opium issue of Macao after the establishment of the New China in 1949 drew almost no attention from the academy. Though it was well-known that the No.933 Legislation issued by Macao Colonial Government in 1946 announced the abolishment of opium in Macao, the opium smuggling activities and opium business in Macao still remained prosperous. However, historians and IR scholars were indifferent to this phenomenon and the reasons behind it. With the British and American official documents and interview with an individual in Macao who experienced that period of history, this article intends to describe the situation of opium export from the Chinese Mainland to Macao as well as the background and reasons which gave birth to this opium business. The opium export during the American Embargo against China was fundamentally different from an ordinary economic or legal sense of opium smuggling. The opium trade during this era was a counter-embargo measure against the American Embargo and the Western coalition in the Korean War. This research may not only provide us with historical information of Macao’s opium history, but also offer us a better understanding of Macao’s roles during the Korean War.


Macao, Opium Exports, Korean War, Embargo Against China


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