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2 corrections, most recently by peter-macinnis - Show corrections

TRADE WITH CHINA.- A reader unaccustomed to the cluster of the Chinese authorities, would accept their late proclamations relative to their trade with foreigners, as decisive evidence that the Chinese were less interested in the continuance of the trade than the barbarians. The reverse of this, however, is the more probable; as a reference to official documents rather justifies the presump- tion that John Chinaman would he infinitely more inconvenienced by a cessation of the trade, than the barians aforesaid. The imports, so far as the British trade is concerned, are in excess of the exports five millions of dollars in the year; and as this excess has been gradually increasing for some years past, it is reasonable to expect that it will continue to increase. This state of affairs we take to be clearly indicative that the trade is mutually advantageous, or, at least, that the obligation is not altogether on the side of the foreigners. It is true, that the proclamations alluded to, state very differently; but, we believe it is no breach of cha- rity to say, that bombast and lies are very important elements in every Chinese manifesto. The value of raw cotton alone, exported every year from Bengal, Madras, and Bombay, exceeds ten nillions of dollars; and in this one item, by which the Chinese are sup- plied to a great extent with the raw material of their clothing, we read a set-off to their generosity in selling us their tea. Nor in the important pre- dicament of gastronomy are they wholly free of obligation to us. The quantity of rice and other edibles conveyed to Canton in British bottoms, must be of some service to a wretched and beggarly population, such as the inhabitants of the Celestial Empire notoriously are. But, thanks to the enter- prise of our merchants, the Chinese have been so liberally supplied with European commodities, at first considered luxuries, but now, from frequent use, found to be necessaries, which they must and will have, that there is but little fear of any serious interruption in the trade. Trade, like love, laughs at locksmiths, and the state locksmiths of China will find, that it will insinuate itself into the inner most recesses of their empire in spite of their pro- clamations, their fines and tortures, or their great  

wall. The opium trade, the occasion of the late disturbance, has been a continual source of trouble. In 1838, the trade and the traders were threatened with annihilation; but Government having disco- vered that the mandareens themselves were the principal smugglers, and that the boats employed to watch the suspected vessels were the favourite channel through which to prosecute the trade, con- sented to be pacified. The foreigners find the trade too profitable to be readily relinquished, and the cupidity of the Chinese traders, and the fondness of the people for this pernicious drug, secure it a ready mart in spite of whatever the Government may say or do to the contrary.