The fact that I could not find any statistics on silver bullion imports suggests that silver imports and exports are like gold – a State secret in China.  – Jeff Brown, Shadow of Truth

Jeff Brown of 44days.net – "Reflections in Sinoland – Reporting From the Belly of the New Century Beast" – is our "eyes and ears" on the ground in Beijing.  For us at the Shadow of Truth, he is an invaluable resource for digging up and analyzing what is happening "on the ground" in China.

One of the great mysteries in the precious metals world has to do with information about China's demand for and use of silver.  We have scoured the western internet for any information about China's importation of silver and have come up empty-handed.  So we put Jeff to work to see what he could dig up.

Although Jeff could not find any information on silver bullion – refined bars and coins – imports into China – which included an unanswered inquiry into the National Bureau of Statistics – Jeff was able to dig up information on China's importation of silver ore and concentrates.  Again, this is information for which I have not seen any published reports in the western media.

Based on everything I could find, it looks like China is trying to get its hands on all the silver it can find. – Jeff Brown

We discuss and analyze Jeff's findings in the second episode of our series on getting a look at what is going on in China from the inside:


 

China historically – as in, over many centuries – has had an insatiable demand for silver. As trade flourished with China starting in the mid-1500's, European traders began to drain sovereign silver stocks in order to pay for Chinese commodities.

Eventually the British began to focus on selling opium to the Chinese. The Chinese merchants who purchased the opium from the British were using silver pay for the opium cargo. This served to "reverse" the flow of silver.

As Jeff discusses in the second half of the podcast, the opium for silver numbers are astronomical when measured in today's scale.

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