February 22, 2024

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Fentanyl Crisis: Over 70000 Annual Deaths in US Prompt US-China Collaboration

Fentanyl Crisis: Over 70000 Annual Deaths in US Prompt US-China Collaboration



Fentanyl Crisis: Over 70000 Annual Deaths in US Prompt US-China Collaboration

“In the streets, people like ‘zombies’…” Over 70,000 Deaths Annually in the U.S. Due to Rampant Abuse of “Fentanyl” – U.S.-China Negotiations Unfold

“I know what drugs are doing to me. It’s rapidly deteriorating my health and body overnight,” says a fentanyl addict.

The concerning drug, “fentanyl,” originally a synthetic opioid for medical use, has seen a drastic increase in health damage and fatalities in the United States due to excessive intake and abuse.

“(Due to fentanyl,) the lives of over 70,000 American citizens are being taken annually. We will significantly strengthen measures to prevent manufacturing and illicit sales,” states President Biden.

Fentanyl Crisis: Over 70000 Annual Deaths in US Prompt US-China Collaboration

U.S. Deaths Due to Drug Overdose

In a recent summit between President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, President Biden reported an agreement to enhance enforcement measures against fentanyl trafficking between the two nations.

“In the United States, people aged 18 to 49 are more likely to die from fentanyl than from guns, car accidents, or other causes. We are taking measures to substantially reduce the influx of fentanyl raw materials and tablets from China to the Americas. This will save lives, and I appreciate President Xi’s commitment to addressing this issue,” expresses President Biden.

“China deeply sympathizes with the harm caused by fentanyl to the American people, especially the youth,” remarks President Xi Jinping.

Fentanyl, originally used as a pain reliever for conditions like cancer, is a type of synthetic opioid. It is said to be 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine.

However, in the United States, there is a continuous rise in addiction-related deaths among young people due to the illicit production of fentanyl. In the 2018 U.S.-China summit, then-President Trump and President Xi reached an agreement to control fentanyl, leading to China regulating fentanyl products. However, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, raw materials necessary for fentanyl production continued to be shipped from China to Mexico, where the products were then trafficked into the United States.

In June of this year, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted a Chinese-owned company for manufacturing and selling fentanyl in the United States through Mexico, seizing approximately 200 kg of fentanyl-related substances equivalent to a lethal dose for 250,000 people.

The fentanyl issue remains unresolved. According to CNN, following the recent U.S.-China summit, China also agreed to crack down on companies producing raw materials essential for fentanyl synthesis. After the summit, China issued a warning to domestic companies, urging compliance with regulations for the export of substances related to fentanyl.

Professor Kazuhiro Maeshima, an expert in contemporary U.S. politics and diplomacy at Sophia University, comments on the fentanyl problem in the United States. “Fentanyl is a type of opioid, a pain reliever. The U.S. is a ‘painkiller society,’ with drugstores selling bottles containing 300 tablets. While aspirin was widely used in the past, opioids were introduced as being ‘gentler’ on the body due to their perceived lower side effects. However, opioids are addictive, leading to a surge in addiction patients, and subsequently, they were also used as narcotics. In cities where fentanyl has spread, there are people who look like zombies; I have seen it myself.”

Maeshima further points out the high priority of this issue in U.S. government policy. “In the press conference after the U.S.-China summit, President Biden first mentioned this issue, with discussions on the Taiwan situation and the Middle East coming afterward. Internally, for example, Portland was once one of the most desirable cities for Americans to live in, but fentanyl has spread, and crime has increased. The urgent issue is recognized as the situation where the city is collapsing due to the fentanyl problem.”

Regarding the benefits of China cooperating with the U.S. and the effectiveness of the agreement, Maeshima notes, “From China’s perspective, it’s like being told by the U.S., ‘Are you selling drugs?’ Given the U.S.-China relationship, they have no choice but to respond. However, since fentanyl-related transactions are carried out illegally and often through third countries like Mexico, it depends on how much the Chinese government is willing to intervene in addressing this issue.”

Fentanyl Crisis: Over 70000 Annual Deaths in the U.S. Prompt U.S.-China Collaboration

(source:internet, reference only)


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