Regulation of smuggling and circulation of drugs in China and India: A historical review

A talk by Ved Baruah, Dr Yun Huang and Ya-kai Wang
Shanghai University and Shanghai University

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About this talk

Smuggling and circulation of illicit drugs has tested governance and regulatory frameworks in Asia for centuries. Powerful empires like the Qing and the Mughals as well as imperial Britain and France struggled to counter drug smuggling that had socio-economic and political consequences. Through historical accounts of opium smuggling in 19th century China, the ban on imported cocaine in China in 1910, and drug smuggling along porous British Indian frontiers from 1860s-1920s, this panel offers unique perspectives on a region located in the midst of two contemporary drug hotspots: the ‘Golden Crescent’ and the ‘Golden Triangle’. By doing so, we shed light on the historical roots of circulation networks and organised crime that have contemporary geopolitical relevance.