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The Blue Lotus is the sequel to Cigars of the Pharaoh. While Tintin is in India taking a well-earned rest, he is drawn into a dangerous mystery revolving around a madness-inducing poison. The young reporter travels to the source of the poison, Shanghai. Within the real historical context of the tensions between China and Japan during the 1930s, Tintin sets to work, unraveling a nefarious web of opium traffickers. He also meets a young Chinese boy, Chang Chong-chen, who becomes a key ally and lifelong friend.
In the spring of 1934, when Hergé announced that he was sending Tintin to China, he was contacted by Father Gosset, a priest in charge of the welfare of Chinese students at Leuven University in Belgium. Father Gosset was worried that Hergé would offend Chinese people if he portrayed them in stereotypical and clichéd ways. The priest put Hergé in contact with Chang Chong-chen, a Chinese student. Chang taught the author about Eastern philosophy. With his help, Hergé carried out extensive research on China to write The Blue Lotus.
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