China Claims It Has Nothing to Do With the Fentanyl Crisis

In this picture taken on May 17, 2012, Chinese police display nearly 50kg of seized illici

Chinese Communist officials and state media responded angrily on Thursday to U.S. sanctions against Chinese firms for their alleged role in the fentanyl drug crisis. 

President Joe Biden imposed the sanctions against four Chinese pillmakers by executive order on Wednesday, to “help disrupt the global supply chain and the financial networks that enable synthetic opioids and precursor chemicals to reach the United States,” as Secretary of State Antony Blinken put it.

Also subjected to Treasury Department action was an individual named Chuen Fat Yip, described as “one of the largest, if not the largest, producers of anabolic steroids in the world.” Yip, a 68-year-old resident of the now-infamous city of Wuhan, allegedly shipped millions of dollars’ worth of fentanyl ingredients from Shanghai and Hong Kong to illicit customers worldwide. 

One of the shipments traced to Yip’s operation included 24 kilograms of fentanyl precursors. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), one kilogram (2.2 lbs.) of fentanyl can kill up to 500,000 people.

Federal drug charges were filed against Yip on Tuesday by the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Northern District of Texas, which seized an estimated $2.3 million in cryptocurrency from Yip’s digital wallet in November.

“This defendant allegedly made millions manufacturing and distributing anabolic steroids and fentanyl precursors to American customers. The Justice Department will pursue drug defendants to the furthest reaches of the globe if that’s what it takes to stem the tide of the drug epidemic,” said U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham.

“I think it’s very simple that a lot of the precursors to synthetic opioids originate in China, and it was important for us to send a signal on that front,” a Biden administration official said Wednesday, as quoted by the UK Guardian.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin denounced the U.S. actions at a press conference on Thursday, sneering that Americans were trying to shift the blame for their own drug addiction to China.

“We urge the U.S. to respect the facts, look more to itself for the causes of the fentanyl abuse problem, and objectively and fairly evaluate the efforts made by China, rather than blaming other countries,” he said.

Wang insisted China’s “efforts and achievements” on drug prevention are “evident to the international community.”

China’s state-run Global Times slammed the Biden administration for “passing the buck to China” instead of dealing with the U.S. drug problem:

With drug addiction involving a synthetic opioid known as fentanyl becoming one of the fast-growing causes of death in the US, there has been an ongoing misconception that the US thinks its fentanyl abuse crisis is a result of Chinese companies producing or selling the drug. It is not uncommon to see American politicians and media outlets accusing China of selling fentanyl or precursor chemicals that end up on US shores.

With an entrenched bias against China, the US is used to blaming Beijing for almost everything. And the fentanyl issue is no exception. Yet, it should be clarified that the US fentanyl abuse crisis does not originate from China, and is actually a social problem in the US. It is no secret that some American pharmaceutical companies put their own economic interests above public health by actively encouraging people to use prescription fentanyl a few years ago, leading to the quick spread of the fentanyl addiction.

The Global Times faulted the U.S. government for not formally regulating fentanyl as strictly as China and boasted authoritarian Beijing could easily solve the drug crisis American democracy seems helpless against:

With 5 percent of the global population, the US consumes about 80 percent of the world’s opioids. Isn’t it obvious where the roots of the US fentanyl abuse crisis lies? It is a total governance failure of the US government, a result of the irresponsible indulgence of the drug abuse by the federal and state governments. If something like this happened in China, officials would have been held to account layer by layer.

Contrary to these protestations from the Chinese Communist Party, drug abuse experts have described China’s mass production of fentanyl as a deliberate chemical weapons attack on the United States. They note China boasts of passing tough laws against fentanyl production, but the massive Chinese surveillance state and brutal security apparatus seemingly do nothing to actually prevent production and international distribution of the drug.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported in November that drug overdoses have reached a record high during Joe Biden’s presidency, driven largely by fentanyl. 

According to U.S. security and law enforcement agencies, Chinese “drug kingpins” manufacture fentanyl at very high levels of purity – and lethality – then use Mexican cartels to slip their product across the U.S. border. As the charges filed against Yip in Texas suggest, cryptocurrency has become a preferred financial instrument for managing this deadly trade.


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