Beijing: Claim China Is Top Source of Fentanyl in U.S. ‘Blatant Slander’

Fentanyl
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty, Nicolas Asfouri-Pool/Getty

Beijing on Monday denied U.S. assertions that China is the top source of the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl killing thousands of Americans each year.

Fentanyl is the main driver behind the historic number of lethal drug overdoses in the U.S. in recent years.

On Monday, China’s state-run Xinhua refuted U.S. accusations that China is to blame for the drug-related deaths.

“The United States has only itself to blame for the fentanyl abuse crisis. The accusation against China for being the main source of fentanyl-like substances is blatant slander,” it added.

Last month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that fentanyl-related drug overdoses continued to increase despite a drop in the overall number of overdose fatalities.

Fentanyl maintained its status as the top source of drug overdoses in the United States.

Xinhua noted:

The United States has groundlessly accused China of being the main source of fentanyl-like substances in the United States, blaming China for the U.S. fentanyl abuse crisis. This is a complete distortion of facts and is totally unacceptable to the Chinese people.

The United States is the world’s largest consumer market for narcotic drugs. The proliferation of fentanyl-like substances in the United States in recent years, which killed many people, is mainly linked to the country’s tradition of abusing prescription painkillers.

The number of fatalities from prescription opioids decreased from 14,559 in 2017 to 12,588 in 2018, marking a drop of nearly 15 percent.

Afghanistan is the world’s top supplier of heroin, but the U.S. government reports that Latin America is the main source of heroin in the United States.

The number of heroin-induced deaths dropped slightly from 15,593 in 2017 to 15,073 in 2018.

Some of the Chinese fentanyl is smuggled at and in between official ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexican border. Traffickers also bring it in through the mail system.

Fentanyl is often mixed with heroin to increase the potency and street value of the drug, often to fatal ends. Unfortunately, when word spreads that a batch of heroin is killing people, addicts flock to the dealer who has it.

U.S. officials told Breitbart News they do not know if Chinese traffickers are lacing their fentanyl with heroin from neighboring Afghanistan.

China is the main source of fentanyl and its much deadlier offshoot carfentanyl, among other synthetic opioids, killing thousands of Americans annually.

Last year marked the first drop in fatal drug overdoses in decades — a nearly five percent decrease in overall fatalities induced by narcotics, but the number of deaths attributed to fentanyl and other synthetic opioids actually increased.

The overall drug deaths dropped from 70,669 deaths in 2017 to 67,774 in 2018.

Opioids (47,016 deaths last year) – particularly fueled by synthetics like fentanyl (31,473), but also natural heroin (15,073), among others – remained the top driver of the fatalities last year.

Breitbart News used the most conservative CDC estimates — labeled “reported” versus “predicted.” The “reported” figures are subject to increase given that some incidents are still pending verification.

Synthetic opioid-related deaths in 2018 at 31,473 increased by about ten percent from 28,659 the previous year.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has warned that nefarious actors can use fentanyl and its variant as a weapon of mass destruction (WMD).

Terrorists could potentially weaponize fentanyl — 118 pounds of which is reportedly enough to kill 25 million people.

Beijing maintains that fentanyl and other similar drugs are subject to strict management and control in China.

“Chinese law enforcement did crack cases of illegal processing or trafficking of fentanyl-like substances to the United States, but the number was very small. It is impossible for China to be a major source of fentanyl-like substances in the United States,” Xinhua argued.

China argues that the flow of Chinese fentanyl into the U.S. has “significantly declined,” citing “unprecedented” law enforcement efforts” in combating the drug,” Xinhua reported.

Beijing claims it is willing to work with other countries to stem the flow of Chinese fentanyl killing tens of thousands of people in the U.S. alone.

CDC found that 2018 deaths from stimulants like cocaine (14,762 deaths) and methamphetamine (12,801) nearly mirror those from heroin. U.S. law enforcement believes many methamphetamine manufacturers obtained their precursor chemicals from China.

In April, the Associated Press (AP) reported that China indicated “it would begin regulating all fentanyl-related drugs as a class of controlled substances.”

China’s intent to tackle the fentanyl issue is part of a promise Chinese Communist Party chief Xi Jinping made to his American counterpart Donald Trump.

Last week, Trump accused Xi of “failing to meet promises to stem a deluge of the synthetic opioid fentanyl into the United States,” Reuters reported.

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