US-China Held a First-ever Meeting on the ‘Zombie Drug’ Fentanyl
Following their discussions on measures to prevent the inflow of the narcotic painkiller fentanyl into the United States, the U.S. and China have agreed to establish a joint anti-drug task force.
According to Beijing insiders on the 30th, ahead of the announcement of the launch of the anti-drug task force, Wang Xiaohong, the Minister of Public Security of China, stated, “Both sides have agreed to follow the principles of mutual respect, managing differences, and mutually beneficial cooperation in carrying out anti-drug efforts.”
He continued, “We had in-depth communication. We reached a common understanding of the work plan of the task force,” and added, “We hope to strengthen cooperation that provides more positive energy for a stable China-US relationship by accepting each other’s concerns and having robust anti-drug cooperation.”
Representatives from the Department of Justice and the State Department, led by Deputy Assistant to the U.S. President and Deputy Homeland Security Advisor Jen Daskal, attended the meeting. According to sources, the U.S. conveyed its position to China, hoping that “this dialogue provides a platform for promoting sustained coordination designed to prevent the illegal production, financing, and distribution of narcotics.”
Deputy Assistant Daskal, after receiving a welcome from Minister Wang at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing before the meeting, stated, “Synthetic drugs are taking thousands of lives,” and “I have come from Washington with a high-level delegation representing the U.S. government’s all-out approach to solving the global problem caused by illegal drugs.”
Both countries agreed to cooperate on the fentanyl issue following the U.S.-China summit held in San Francisco in mid-November last year. Accordingly, on the 22nd, the Chinese Ambassador to the U.S., Xie Feng, is known to have exchanged views on anti-drug cooperation with Rahul Gupta, Director of National Drug Control Policy. Subsequently, Politburo member and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (also the Director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission’s Office) visited Thailand. They held follow-up meetings with Jake Sullivan, U.S. National Security Advisor. The schedule for the working-level meeting was announced at that time.
Chinese state media, including Huanqiu Shibao, assessed that recent cooperation between the U.S. and China on the fentanyl issue has shown positive momentum.