China and US resume talks to battle fentanyl crisis

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons.

China and the United States will resume talks in Beijing today on their joint efforts to combat the fentanyl crisis.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, there are at least 5,000 sites in China where fentanyl, alternative substances to the drug, or key components in its production process are manufactured.

In the mid of November 2023, high-level representatives from the United States, China, and Mexico met to establish anti-narcotics agreements around the production, distribution, and consumption of fentanyl, which is responsible for an average of 100,000 deaths per year.

These agreements, which took place during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco, were drawn up to combat the “route” of fentanyl, in which it is mass-produced in Mexico using chemical precursors, largely from China, and trafficked to the United States by drug cartels.

The United States has said it will “provide a platform to facilitate coordination aimed at attacking the illegal production, financing, and distribution of illicit drugs.”

Since the summit, China has shut down a company, blocked some international payments, and resumed sharing information on shipping and trafficking, according to an anonymous US official who spoke to DW.

These conversations between officials from the three nations involved have been ongoing, especially since the APEC summit. In April 2023, Mexico asked Xi Jinping for help in stopping the production of fentanyl, confirming that although it is not produced in Mexico, they want to help in the fight against consumption, which claims an average of 47,000 lives a year in the US, according to El Pa铆s.