Top 2015 travel destinations for From British India, exports of opium to China rose from 200 chests in 1729, to 4,500 in 1800, shortly after Macartney’s visit. The Chinese responded by banning opium importation and domestic production by 1800 and punishing smoking opium. However, exports rose to 40,000 by 1838. Soon smuggling and criminal gangs allowed the drug to make its way throughout all levels of Chinese society, including the emperor’s court, and it became next to impossible for the government to crack down on drug dealers. The crisis was exacerbated when silver began to drain out of China. In 1839, imperial official Lin Zexu was sent off to Guangzhou to stop foreign traders from importing opium and Chinese from smoking it. Lin was partially successful, closing opium dens, arresting 1,600 Chinese, and executing Chinese dealers; however, neither threats, bribes, trading options, nor the barricading of foreigners in their factories compelled foreigners to turn over their opium stocks. Top 2015 travel destinations 2016.