In 1776 fifty-six American Founders signed their death warrant otherwise known as the Declaration of Independence.
A leading Declaration signer, General George Washington was desperately looking for financing. As a former British colonel, he understood too well that his Revolutionary army was marching on its stomach. No serious war was cheap.
However, the French were not yet quite ready to invest in the American Revolution. The belligerent British had the Atlantic Ocean as their pond. So? Go east! The China trade made tons of sense and cents.
In Peking (Beijing) the Qing court had no idea what the American Revolution was about. Indeed, Chinese couldn't care less. But, they cared about the astonishing range of exotic merchandise coming from a distant corner of the world. Chinese paid silver coins for America's seal skins, otter pelts, sandalwood, sea cucumbers, and ginseng. Yes, Chinese have a very long history of consuming American ginseng. (Here, for historical accuracy, I must add that some Americans did join their British rivals in the opium trade.)
Taking advantage of Qing officials' corrupt practice, Washingtonian America enjoyed impressive trade surpluses that tided it over till a better tomorrow. Unknowingly, China had contributed significantly to the American cause.