Fen­tanyl in US ‘not from China’

Two na­tions mak­ing progress in drug en­force­ment

Global Times - Weekend - - NATION - By Zhao Yusha

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.

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