The first sentence of this article is simply plain wrong. Yes Opium was involved; however, that isn’t why the war started in 1839. The European powers attacked China after a Chinese official placed an embargo on all European trade, and indiscriminately seized several foreign nationals, including their all of their property. The UK did not take an official position on banning the Opium trade, which they /should/ have. But to suggest that the UK went to war because “they” couldn’t sell Opium is just a re-write.