Born Aug. 30, 1785, in the district of Houkuan, province of Fukien; died Nov. 22, 1850, in the district of Ch’aochou, province of Kuangtung. Chinese statesman.
Given broad powers to combat the opium trade, he prohibited the trade in Kuangtung in 1839 and confiscated and destroyed 20,000 boxes of opium belonging to British and American merchants. During the Anglo-Chinese War of 1840–42 (the first Opium War), which was instigated by Great Britain, Lin Tsehsü was in charge of the defense of Kuangtung and organized detachments of people’s militia; he was a proponent of resolute resistance. The growing influence of the capitulationist group at the Ch’ing court led to Lin Tse-hsü’s ouster in 1840 and exile to East Turkestan. After his return from exile in 1845, he served as governor of various provinces.