In India the Company began the process of annexation
when it acquired Bengal. This led to large scale colonisation and
finally Empire. Nowhere was the economic impact felt more keenly
than in India where some of its hand industries were killed off
for the benefit of Britain's industrialized economy.
In China the Companys trade in opium sparked
off two Opium wars which tightened the Western grip on the Chinese
economy and created a disastrous social problem inside China. By the end of the century, many millions of Chinese people had died as a result of opium addiction.
The successors to the Companys trade are perhaps
the great industrial and financial complexes which it helped create
- Bombay, Calcutta, and Singapore and which symbolize Asias
continuing success as a major force in todays global economy.
Asia is once more a major manufacturing force, balancing
western imports and ideas with its eastern heritage.