Home World Chinese government has little incentive to stop the country’s drug cartels from fueling US fentanyl crisis

Chinese government has little incentive to stop the country’s drug cartels from fueling US fentanyl crisis

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China’s massive drug network is fueling the fentanyl crisis in the US, but the Chinese government has little incentive to combat the situation as relations with Washington deteriorate.

“Since around 2013, China has been the main source of fentanyl flooding the US illicit drug market,” Craig Singleton, a senior fellow at the bipartisan Foundation for the Defense of Democracy, told Fox News Digital.

Singleton’s assessment of the issue is shared by the U.S. government, with a 2020 Drug Enforcement Administration report noting that China is the primary source of fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances trafficked into the U.S. It is also the largest source of mail smuggling.” and express delivery. ”

Fentanyl seizures from China often weigh less than 1 kilogram, but test that the concentration of pure fentanyl exceeds 90%.

Florida Police Seize Enough Fentanyl to Kill 1.5 Million Adults

Chinese President Xi Jinping.
(Photo by Li Xueren/Xinhua via Getty Images)

According to a 2020 NPR report, Chinese drug cartels are leveraging the internet to sell fentanyl and the chemicals used to make fentanyl, often selling and shipping the drugs directly to US customers. Mexican drug cartels are also big consumers of the Chinese drug trade, accepting shipments from China before smuggling drugs across US borders.

After years of pressure, the Chinese government addressed the issue in 2019 by tightening regulations on domestic fentanyl production. As part of the deal agreed with the Trump administration, the Chinese government promised more stringent measures to investigate known fentanyl-producing regions, tighten controls over internet marketing of drugs, and enforce drug shipping controls.

“The Obama and Trump administrations have expended significant diplomatic capital to persuade Beijing to crack down on the supply of fentanyl from China to the United States. The Chinese government has announced a ban on the manufacture, sale and export of the drug, except for authorized companies that have been granted special licenses by the Chinese government,” Singleton said.

Officials warn of ‘rainbow fentanyl’ coming from the southern border, which children could mistake for candy or chalk

56 pounds of fentanyl is estimated to be worth .6 million.

56 pounds of fentanyl is estimated to be worth $3.6 million.
(Nevada State Police)

The move has significantly reduced China’s illicit fentanyl trade, and the DEA has expressed hope that the country will soon lose its status as a major supplier of the drug to the United States.

But powerful Chinese drug networks have found ingenious ways to circumvent the restrictions, camouflaging their efforts in complex networks originating from isolated inland cities to evade law enforcement detection. We are developing sophisticated new shipping methods designed to

Chinese drug networks also evade regulations by manufacturing and selling the chemicals used to make fentanyl, making enforcement more difficult.

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands.

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands.
(Nicholas Asfori/AFP/Getty Images)

Sen. Marshall blames the CDC for not declaring an emergency on fentanyl.

“Many Chinese networks involved in the production and advertising of fentanyl have adapted quickly to increasing legal constraints by exploiting loopholes in chemical restrictions and modifying technology to disguise their activities. ‘, Michael Roemuller, an analyst at the Center for Advanced Defense Studies, told NPR a year after the restrictions were lifted. to place.

The deterioration in US-China relations threatens to undermine much of the progress made since 2019, most notably House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, which infuriated Beijing.

“After U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan this summer, the Chinese government suspended cooperation with Washington on the issue of cross-border crime and illegal drugs,” Singleton said. “The expected deterioration in US-China relations is likely to further undermine Beijing’s willingness to implement its own fentanyl regulations in 2019, which could lead to a worsening of the US drug epidemic and related human trafficking activities. there is.”

Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (left) meets with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as she prepares to depart in Taipei, Taiwan, Wednesday, August 3, 2022.

Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (left) meets with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as she prepares to depart in Taipei, Taiwan, Wednesday, August 3, 2022.
((Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs via AP))

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Noting that it is the United States, not China, that is at the center of the opioid crisis, Singleton argued that the Chinese government likely had little incentive to start tough enforcement again. That reality means that human trafficking from China could increase in the near future.

“Going forward, illegal Chinese drug and human trafficking will likely flow into the United States, further straining Customs and Border Patrol resources,” Singleton said.

Following China’s decision to end cooperation with the United States, Singleton stressed the need to assess the implications of the move.

“One of the urgent needs is for the potential consequences of China’s decision to end joint cooperation on cross-border crime and fentanyl-related issues, ideally for the Department of Homeland Security. “It’s also a non-classified assessment prepared by the National Security Council,” Singleton said. I have.”

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