A farmer works in a rhubarb field in Gansu province, China. In the Qing dynasty, the imperial court in Beijing believed that rhubarb could be used as a trade weapon against foreigners who would become critically ill without the herb. Photo: Xinhua
David Dodwell
Opinion

Opinion

Outside In by David Dodwell

Donald Trump should learn a lesson from imperial China’s failed rhubarb war with Britain

  • Rhubarb played an overlooked role in the opium war, after Qing China made a ludicrous miscalculation of foreigners’ reliance on the plant. In the current trade war, is Trump similarly in danger of misjudging China’s economic situation?

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A farmer works in a rhubarb field in Gansu province, China. In the Qing dynasty, the imperial court in Beijing believed that rhubarb could be used as a trade weapon against foreigners who would become critically ill without the herb. Photo: Xinhua
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