Showdown with China over Pelosi visit seen worsening fentanyl surge into U.S.

by WorldTribune Staff, September 4, 2022

In protest of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last month, China announced it was suspending counter-narcotics cooperation with the United States. Officials fear China’s action will make an already devastating crisis of fentanyl overdoses in the U.S. even worse.

Unless Beijing resumes the cooperation and does more to stop Mexican cartels from working with Chinese criminal gangs, “fentanyl and methamphetamine synthesized with precursors made in China will continue to flood the world,” White House drug czar Rahul Gupta told The Wall Street Journal.

Gupta called China’s suspension of the talks “unfortunate” and noted that the Chinese government in May 2019 cracked down on fentanyl-related exports. The amount of the drug reaching U.S. shores sharply declined.

“But since those actions, North America has been flooded with precursor chemicals from China, stifling international efforts,” he said.

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, was blamed for the overdose deaths of 100,000 people in the U.S. last year.

Related: Killing Americans with impunity — China’s ‘unrestricted warfare’ deploys covid, fentanyl, October 26, 2020

The Biden administration’s policies on securing the southern border have allowed Mexican drug cartels to ship massive amounts of fentanyl into the United States, former officials said.

James Carroll, a White House drug czar during the Trump administration, said Team Biden’s failure to control the border with Mexico is a major factor in the increased fentanyl imports. “Almost all the fentanyl that is in the U.S. has come across the southwest border,” he said.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported in July that it had seized a total of 2,130 pounds of fentanyl at the border, nearly as much fentanyl seized for all of 2019.

“At a time when the overdose epidemic continues to claim a life every five minutes, it’s unacceptable that the PRC is withholding its cooperation that would help to bring to justice individuals who traffic these illicit drugs and who engage in this global criminal enterprise,” Gupta said.

David L. Asher, a former State Department official, said the Chinese action will lead to even more fentanyl precursor shipments to Mexico’s Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels. These criminal groups are working with chemical manufacturers producing fentanyl in China.

“Based on their actions, communist China is in a covert opioid war with the U.S., and PRC operatives have taken over money laundering across the U.S. and Canada,” said Asher, now with the Hudson Institute’s China Center. “That, alone, should be the basis for a [racketeering] prosecution, but the Justice Department and Office of National Drug Control Policy instead are relying on cooperation from China that is a total ‘dead letter item.’ ”

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