China ‘firmly opposes’ US sanctions over fentanyl production

BEIJING – China is criticizing the United States, following the White House’s decision to tackle the deadly fentanyl crisis through the indictment and sanctioning of 25 individuals and entities based in China, along with three others in Canada.

“The fentanyl crisis in the United States is rooted in the country itself,” Beijing’s foreign ministry told AFP. “Imposing pressure and sanctions cannot solve the United States’ own problems. It will only create obstacles in the China-US cooperation on drug control.” 

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Mexico and China are the primary sources of fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances trafficked directly into the U.S. 

This week the Justice Department pressed charges against eight Chinese companies and indicted 12 executives for their alleged involvement in drug trafficking. Simultaneously, the Treasury Department imposed sanctions on 28 individuals and entities, predominantly in China, with three based in Canada. These sanctions effectively cut off their access to the U.S. financial system and prohibits any business transactions with them by American entities.

These recent developments are part of a broader series of actions taken this year against key figures from Mexico’s largest drug cartel, the Sinaloa cartel. Just days ago, Emily’s Hope reported on the U.S. sanctions imposed on nine Sinaloa cartel members, in addition to a prominent Colombian cocaine leader.

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Anne Milgram emphasized the gravity of the fentanyl crisis, stating, “Fentanyl is the deadliest drug threat our nation has ever faced. These eight cases are the result of the DEA’s efforts to combat the fentanyl supply chain at its source in China. Chinese chemical companies are fueling the fentanyl crisis in the United States by sending fentanyl precursors, fentanyl analogs, xylazine, and nitazenes into our country and Mexico. These chemicals are used to produce fentanyl, making it especially lethal.”

America is currently battling its deadliest drug epidemic in history, with more than 111,000 people dying in the latest 12-month period ending in April.