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Cartoon by Rebel Pepper
Photo: RFA

“Without meaning to say that the foreigners harbor such destructive intentions in their hearts, we yet positively assert that from their inordinate thirst after gain, they are perfectly careless about the injuries they inflict upon us! And such being the case, we should like to ask what has become of that conscience which heaven has implanted in the breasts of all men?”   The full text of Lin Tse-hsu impassioned open letter to Queen Victoria imploring her to intervene in the illegal smuggling of opium onto the shores of mainland China is a profound plea to morality. Delivered in 1839 in the months preceding the escalations that would result in the first Opium War, the letter fell on deaf hears by the time it was received in England. However, 180