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Through the Looking GlassChina's Foreign Journalists from Opium Wars to Mao$
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Paul French

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9789622099821

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789622099821.001.0001

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God, Mammon and Flag

God, Mammon and Flag

(p.15) 1 God, Mammon and Flag
Through the Looking Glass

Paul French

Hong Kong University Press

The birth of foreign newspapers and a foreign press corps in China really begins in the small enclave of Canton, the city now known as Guangzhou, in what were called the Factories, the somewhat fortified and mostly self-sufficient warehouses where a select group of foreigners was begrudgingly permitted to trade by the Qing dynasty. God, Mammon, and flag are the primary interests in the very earliest newspapers and journals. The roots of the foreign press are revealed in opium. The nineteenth century British-dominated “mud trade”, based on opium as a narcotic smoked for pleasure or relaxation rather than medicinal purposes, was already over fifty years old by the time the first English-language newspapers appeared in China, coincidentally sponsored by the largest suppliers. The circumspect voice of the missionaries is described. The chapter also addresses the Napier fizzle and the First Opium War. It is shown that Hong Kong is a colony in need of a press.

Keywords:   God, Mammon, flag, First Opium War, Napier fizzle, Hong Kong, mud trade, foreign press, missionaries

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