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Lin Zexu Memorial Marker

Historic Sites, Monuments, Landmarks, and Public Art ()
Located in Kimlau Square in Chatham Square, part of New York City's Chinatown, this statue is a memorial to Lin Zexu, a Chinese official whose struggle against illegal British shipments of opium into China led, in part, to the first Opium War. The memorial is also a tribute to Lin's own status as a patriot and hero. The monument was donated by the Lin Zexu Foundation of the U.S.A. and sculpted by Li Wei-Si. It was dedicated in 1999.

Photo Inscription: Lin Ze Xu 1785 -1850 Pioneer in the war against drugs (image from
Photo Lin Zexu memorial statue in background, with nearby Americans of Chinese Ancestry memorial arch in foreground (image from
Photo Lin Zexu memorial statue
Lin Zexu was a Chinese scholar and official of the Quing (Manchu) Dynasty, who was part of the Self-Strengthening Movement to revitalize traditional Chinese thought and institutions. In 1838, Lin Zexu traveled to Guangdong as imperial commissioner of the Daoguang Emperor to stop illegal opium shipments to China from Britain. Lin arrested 1,700 opium dealers and, after attempting to deal peacefully with foreign companies importing the drug, he confiscated their stores by force. Over 2.6 million pounds of opium were taken and destroyed, after which Lin requested that the Portuguese government deport the British (who subsequently settled in Hong Kong). Though the resulting British retaliation in the form of the first Opium War (1839–42) is often blamed on Lin, the Chinese in Taiwan still celebrate Anti-Smoking Day on June 3 (the date of Lin's confiscation of foreign shipments of opium), and Lin is celebrated as a Chinese patriot and hero.


Hayford, Charles W. "Lin Zexu." Encyclopædia Britannica. December 09, 2011. Accessed March 19, 2017.

"New York City Chinatown > Manhattan > Chatham Square - Kim Lau Square." New York City Chinatown > Manhattan > Chatham Square - Kim Lau Square. Accessed March 19, 2017.

"Lin Ze Xu Historical Marker." Historical Marker. Accessed March 19, 2017.

"Kimlau Square." Kimlau Square Monuments - Lin Ze Xu : NYC Parks. Accessed March 19, 2017.

East Broadway at Chatham Square
New York, New York 10038
Phone Number
(212) 360-8143
  • Asian and Asian American History
This location was created on 2016-02-04 by Sara Marian .   It was last updated on 2017-03-19 by Clio Admin .

This entry has been viewed 404 times since January 2017


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