US urged to in­ten­sify drug fight

China ex­pands its list of con­trolled sub­stances used to make nar­cotics

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By WANG XIAODONG wangx­i­aodong@ chi­

The United States should take mea­sures to re­duce its de­mand for drugs and in­ten­sify its law en­force­ment, rather than sim­ply claim that China is the ma­jor source of the chem­i­cals, a se­nior Chi­nese drug con­trol official said on Thurs­day.

“The big­gest dif­fi­culty China faces in opi­oid con­trol is that such drugs are in enor­mous de­mand in the US,” Yu Haibin, a nar­cotics con­trol official with the Min­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity, said at a news con­fer­ence in Bei­jing.

Yu urged other coun­tries, in­clud­ing the US, to im­prove co­op­er­a­tion with China in drug con­trol, in­clud­ing shar­ing more data and po­lice in­tel­li­gence with Chi­nese author­i­ties.

Dur­ing the same news con­fer­ence, the China Na­tional Nar­cotics Con­trol Com­mis­sion an­nounced five sub­stances have been in­cluded in a list of con­trolled sub­stances that can be used to pro­duce nar­cotics.

Of the five sub­stances, two of them can be used to pro­duce fentanyl, a drug that can re­lieve pain but has also be­come a pop­u­lar nar­cotic in re­cent years in China and abroad, ac­cord­ing to the com­mis­sion.

The other three are ma­jor chem­i­cals used to pro­duce metham­phetamine, Deng Ming, deputy head of the com­mis­sion, said at the news con­fer­ence.

The reg­u­la­tion, for­mu­lated by min­istries in­clud­ing the China Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion and Min­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity, and ap­proved by the State Coun­cil, will take ef­fect on Feb 1.

“Adding the five sub­stances to the list means their pro­duc­tion, use, trans­port, im­port and ex­port will be un­der strict ad­min­is­tra­tive man­age­ment, and vi­o­la­tors will face ad­min­is­tra­tive or crim­i­nal penal­ties,” Yu said.

The State Coun­cil adopted a reg­u­la­tion on the man­age­ment of chem­i­cals used for pro­duc­ing nar­cotics in 2005.

The list has ex­panded to in­clude 138 psy­choac­tive sub­stances that can be used to pro­duce drugs such as fentanyl and cathi­none, which have been gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity across the world due to the lack of uni­fied in­ter­na­tional su­per­vi­sion and the ease of pro­duc­ing them in labs, the com­mis­sion said.

China still faces se­vere chal­lenges in nar­cotics con­trol, with in­creas­ing pop­u­lar­ity of syn­thetic and psy­choac­tive drugs.

More than 115,000 peo­ple re­ceived crim­i­nal sen­tences last year in China for nar­cotic­sre­lated vi­o­la­tions, com­pared with about 81,000 in 2012, ac­cord­ing to the Supreme Peo­ple’s Court.

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