• “In 1865, Scotsman Thomas Sutherland started the Hongkong Shanghai Banking Company (later HSBC). A senior Chinese government official had issued a warrant for future HSBC board member Thomas Dent in 1839, to close his opium warehouses. This helped spark the first Opium War. France’s Le Monde Diplomatique said that “HSBC’s first wealth came from opium from India, and later Yunan in China.” Yunan is in the Golden Triangle area. The first Opium War forced China to cede Shanghai to Western powers, transforming it from a fishing village to China’s largest, most modern city with a network of opium smoking dens. Prof. Alfred McCoy would eventually call Hong Kong “Asia’s heroin laboratory,” and HSBC would become the world’s second largest bank.”

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