On Thursday, the Chinese government refuted allegations of its involvement in unlawful fentanyl trafficking to Mexico. Mao Ning, the spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, made these statements when asked about Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s recent request for China’s assistance in halting the supply of chemicals utilized by Mexican drug cartels in the production of fentanyl.
Mao added that “the root cause of overdose lies in the U.S. itself, and the problem is completely made in the U.S. The U.S. should face up to its own problems and take more substantive measures to strengthen domestic supervision and reduce demand.”
In a recent press conference, Mao stated that “China has always taken a zero-tolerance attitude towards illegal drug production and trafficking. We have strict controls over the production, export and sales of fentanyl, and we have strengthened cooperation with international law enforcement agencies.”
The U.S. has been grappling with an opioid crisis for years, with fentanyl being one of the main culprits behind a surge in overdoses. The synthetic opioid is estimated to be 50-100 times more potent than morphine, and has been responsible for approximately 70,000 deaths per year in the U.S.
Despite China’s denial of any involvement in illegal fentanyl trafficking, the U.S. has taken steps to crack down on the import of the drug. In 2018, the U.S. introduced the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act, which requires all international packages to be screened for fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.
In March of this year López Obrador denied that fentanyl is produced in Mexico, despite admissions from his government to the contrary.