Consistent with the Biden administration’s weak foreign policy, Secretary of State Antony Blinken went easy on China with regard to its involvement in the global fentanyl crisis. “It’s not about pointing fingers” Blinken said in an interview with CBS News earlier this week. Rather, the Secretary of State asked for “greater cooperation” from China.
CBS News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Margaret Brennan asked the Secretary, “The other thing that you really emphasized was the need to talk about fentanyl, which is killing Americans. Do you believe that the Chinese state can really turn that up and turn that down?”
“Yes. We need to see much greater cooperation when it comes to fentanyl. We’ve seen some of that in the past. In fact, a few years ago, China actually scheduled fentanyl, made it — put it on a prohibited list, and one result of that was that, actually, manufactured fentanyl that had been coming to the United States from China, that pretty much went to zero. What’s happened since, though, is that the chemicals that can be used to make fentanyl…those have been moving liberally to — primarily to Mexico, where it gets turned into fentanyl and then it winds up in the United States. So, part of the challenge is making sure that chemical manufacturers that are producing these precursors in China and then, in some cases, inadvertently sending it to the wrong people in Mexico or other places, sometimes intentionally, deliberately, that’s what’s got to stop. I made very clear to China that this is an area where we want and need to see real cooperation. … I believe this is an area where the United States and China can and must work together. It’s not about pointing fingers. It’s simply finding a way to cooperate.”
Brennan followed up by asking, “I’ve had lawmakers in the U.S. say that this is done intentionally by the Chinese state. Do you believe that?”
Blinken responded, “So, all I can tell you is this: We’ve seen cooperation from them in the past and that’s made a difference. That halted, more or less, over the last few years. They have issues that they’ve raised to try to explain why they’re not doing as much as they can.”
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Biden to lift sanctions on China in exchange for third promise to combat fentanyl
Reportedly President Joe Biden is making deals with Chinese President Xi Jinping to help improve anti-drug trafficking measures. China is one of the top fentanyl producers and distributors, culminating in a pandemic of fentanyl overdoses and deaths in the United States.
The Biden administration will be lifting sanctions on a Chinese government ministry, in exchange for bolstering anti-drug trafficking measures, Bloomberg reported. “We’re hoping to see some progress on that issue this coming week,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Monday, according to the New York Post. “That could then open the door to further cooperation on other issues where we aren’t just managing things, but we’re actually delivering tangible results.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation noted that should a deal materialize, it will be at least the third time that China has promised to get tough on fentanyl. In 2016, China agreed to increase counter-narcotics operations, and Xi again agreed to launch a crackdown in 2018. Nonetheless, China and Mexico are “the primary source countries for fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances trafficked directly into the United States,” according to a 2020 DEA intelligence report.
“China remains the primary source of fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances trafficked through international mail and express consignment operations environment, as well as the main source for all fentanyl-related substances trafficked into the United States.”
President Joe Biden and Xi are meeting for the first time in over a year during this week’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco. Sources familiar with the situation told Bloomberg that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) will crack down on Chinese companies manufacturing chemical precursors for fentanyl in exchange for the U.S. lifting sanctions on the Ministry of Public Security’s Institute of Forensic Science, which the Commerce Department added to the Entity List in 2020 for “engaging in human rights violations and abuses” in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
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