Chinese officials vow to cooperate with the U.S. government in stopping the supply of synthetic drug fentanyl that has been found to originate from China.
However, Liu Yuejin, deputy head of China's National Narcotics Commission, believed that for the United States to win its fight against the opioid crisis, U.S. officials should do more to cut America's demand for the illegal drug.
The statement from China's side was given as a response to an investigation that found fentanyl can be easily purchased online from illegal Chinese laboratories. Shipments of the illegal drugs happened through the mail.
China's Drug Control
Liu said that his country recognized that illicit drugs manufactured within are being illegally sold in the United States. However, China, so far, has no cases of synthetic fentanyl abuse or illegal trafficking of the said drugs.
Liu said China has already taken the steps to stop production and export of synthetic drugs. In fact, the country has placed fentanyl and other similar drugs under its list of controlled substances.
Nevertheless, Liu said his country is willing to cooperate more with the United States regarding the matter.
"But I believe that to resolve this the more important issue is for the United States to strive to reduce and compress the great demand and drug consumption markets of opioids," Liu said.
China As Source Of Synthetic Fentanyl
Due to a policy loophole concerning the U.S. Postal Service, Americans were able to take orders from China over the internet and illegal laboratories can then make shipments to the United States.
The policy in question requires shipping companies, such as UPS and FedEx, to acquire advanced electronic data or AED on all its cargos. AED includes names and addresses of senders, as well as the recipients. More importantly, it includes information about the parcel's contents.
While the policy sounds an effective measure to obstruct shipments of illegal drugs, the U.S. Postal Service had been exempted from it due to potential conflicts with other countries' national postal systems.
The loophole in the policy has only been addressed on June 14 when the House approved a proposition to overhaul the international mailing system, ultimately salvaging the U.S. Postal Services from its marred reputation of being a drug courier.
Opioid Overdose Crisis
As of March 2018, statistical data from the National Institute on Drugs said that more than 115 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids.
The opioid crisis has become a public health concern because aside from deaths, there has also been a rising number of neonatal abstinence syndrome or conditions where babies are exposed to drugs in the womb before birth. The increase in injected drugs use has also contributed to the spread of HIV, hepatitis C, and other infectious diseases.