Fentanyl in US ‘not from China’
Two nations making progress in drug enforcement
A Chinese official has denied that the fentanyl supply in the US comes from China, saying the two countries have made remarkable progress in drug enforcement cooperation this year.
The Ministry of Public Security’s Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has strengthened cooperation with the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in intelligence sharing, joint investigations and evidence gathering this year, Wei Xiaojun, an NCB official, said at a press briefing on Friday.
In response to US President Donald Trump’s claim that China and Mexico caused the US opioid crisis, Wei said that China does not deny that some of the US’ new psychoactive substances (NPS) and fentanyl come from China. But Wei said that the evidence is not sufficient to show most of the US’ fentanyl supply comes from China.
In October, Trump said the US was taking measures to “hold back the flood of cheap and deadly fentanyl, a synthetic opioid manufactured in China and 50 times stronger than heroin,” media reports said.
Wei noted that China has done a great deal in controlling NPS and fentanyl.
“Psychoactive abuse is rare in China, but China pays special attention to this problem worldwide. China is regulating up to 23 types of fentanyl,” Wei said. He added that China also regulates 23 fentanyl substances, more than the number on the UN’s fentanyl control list (15) and the US list (20).
Lance Ho, the US Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) representative in Beijing, also praised China’s contribution to regulating fentanyl.
“Once China controls substances, it has a dramatic effect on the US in terms of saving lives… once they do, we see a drop in the use [of drugs] in the US,” Ho said.
Wei also reacted to the US Justice Department’s public announcement of two Chinese who allegedly manufacture drugs sold in the US, saying that this will hinder the investigation.
“The case is still under investigation, and the investigation is being conducted by both sides,” he said.
The release of information would “have an impact on the ongoing joint investigation into the case,” Wei said, adding that China regrets that the US failed to acknowledge our successful cooperation on this and other cases.
In October, the US Justice Department announced it indicted two Chinese nationals – Yan Xiaobing and Zhan Jian – over the manufacturing and smuggling of fentanyl into the US, US media reported.
Wei said that there’s no significant discrepancy in the drug enforcement cooperation between China and the US, although both sides have different drug laws and take different measures in dealing with drug-related issues.
The 8th China-US Bilateral Drug Intelligence Working Group Meeting was held in Beijing on Monday. The two countries discussed the control of synthetic opioids and drug testing technology.