China says US not doing enough to cut demand for opioids (Source CNN)
China on Thursday turned the table on Washington in addressing the ongoing opioid crisis in the United States.
“The biggest challenge China faces in cracking down on the smuggling of opioids is the huge demand from the US,” said Yu Haibin, a senior official with the Narcotics Control Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security, the country’s top law enforcement agency. “The United States should strengthen its educational and publicity campaigns to reduce domestic demand, intensify its crackdown on internet-based drug crimes, and share more lab data with China to improve our
detection and verification capabilities.”
US President Donald Trump in October declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. A report from the Congressional US-China Economic and Security Review Commission last February labeled China as the primary source of fentanyl — a cheap synthetic opioid at least 50 times stronger than heroin — in the US, citing law enforcement and drug investigators.
During his state visit to China last month, Trump brought up the topic with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing. The two leaders agreed to bolster mutual cooperation on fighting narcotic crimes — and the Chinese authorities on Thursday emphasized recent progress despite some choice words for Washington.
After announcing the listing of five new chemicals — used to make fentanyl or methamphetamine — as controlled substances, Chinese officials highlighted their latest success in destroying a fentanyl lab in northern China thanks to a tip from the US immigration and customs agency.
The joint China-US effort resulted in the arrests of 19 suspects in recent months across China as well as the seizure of 4.7 kilograms (10 pounds) of fentanyl and more than 150 kilograms of drug ingredients, according to Chinese officials.