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China Commemorates Anti-opium Hero

Source: Global Times [2009-06-04 10:30:10]

Students from Fuzhou visit the museum for Chinese anti-opium hero Lin Zexu on June 3,
2009, the 170th anniversary of Lin burning opium at Humen Beach in 1839, the event
which led to the first Opium War. [Photo: CFP]

A new museum for the Chinese hero Lin Zexu, famed for his fight against opium, opened in his hometown in Fujian Province on Wednesday, the 170th anniversary of his burning opium at Humen Beach in 1839, the event which led to the first Opium War.

The museum, which cost the Fuzhou municipal government 120 million yuan (about 18 million U.S. dollars), was enlarged from the previous 3,500 to 8,500 square meters to be China's largest museum for Lin Zexu (1785-1850), a Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) man who led the fight against opium smuggling.

Lin ordered the destruction of 1,000 tonnes of smuggled opium confiscated from foreign dealers at Humen Beach in south China's Guangdong Province on June 3, 1839. The destruction continued for 23 days. The day after the end of the campaign happens to be June 26, the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

The museum is at Lin's house in the famed ancient alleys called Three Lanes and Seven Alleys in Fuzhou, capital of Fujian.

The museum recounts how Lin fought against the invasion of Western countries, but also had an open attitude towards modern cultures, sciences and technologies from the Western countries.

More than 100 cultural items are exhibited in the museum, including Lin's official clothes, chops, memorials to the throne and calligraphy.

A gunpowder container from the Opium War (1840-1842) is also exhibited.

Lin Zexu did an unprecedented job in China's anti-drug history and his spirit should be inherited nowadays when drugs are still a threat to modern society, said Lin Zhuguang, Lin Zexu's descendant, at the opening ceremony of the museum.

Lin Zexu had set a high standard in the anti-drug field, said Brad Kerwan, senior Liaison officer of the Australian Consulate in Guangzhou.

China had been playing a very important role in world's anti-drug fight, which demands more international cooperation, he said.

Officers from the consulates of the United States, Germany, Canada, Thailand and New Zealand also attended the opening ceremony.

The museum was given the name of National Anti-drug Education Base by the Ministry of Public Security at the ceremony.

To remember the anniversary of the burning of the opium, many cities and provinces burned seized drugs in public.

Beijing destroyed 393.5 kilogrammes of drugs, including heroin, opium, and amphetamine chloride on Wednesday.

Northeastern Jilin Province and northwestern Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region held a remembrance ceremony and destroyed 10 tonnes and 42.25 kilogrammes of drug respectively on the same day.

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