US and China to Collaborate in Combating Fentanyl Production and Distribution

U.S. and Chinese representatives are scheduled to engage in discussions regarding the supply of fentanyl and its precursor chemicals during their upcoming meetings in Beijing. The U.S.-PRC Counternarcotics Working Group sessions are a result of the commitment made by U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping following their meeting in November.

A senior official from the U.S. administration stated that there has already been a decline in seizures of precursors at certain U.S. airports. However, due to the ever-evolving nature of the drug trade, it is crucial to not become complacent with past actions taken immediately after the summit. The working group will provide an opportunity for the United States and China to continue coordinating their efforts.

The primary objectives of these discussions include various measures across law enforcement actions, the implementation of controls on precursor chemicals, monitoring emerging trends, combating illicit financing, and collaborating with other partners to disrupt the global supply chain of illegal drugs.

Statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that the United States witnesses over 100,000 drug overdose deaths annually, with approximately 70% attributed to illegally manufactured fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. Fentanyl is frequently mixed with other substances like heroin and cocaine.

The U.S. delegation participating in the Beijing meetings comprises officials from multiple agencies, including the State Department, Treasury Department, Justice Department, and the Department of Homeland Security.

The US and China are holding talks in Beijing to address the supply of fentanyl and its precursor chemicals. The discussions are part of a commitment made by the two countries to work together on this issue following a meeting between Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping in November. The aim is to coordinate efforts in law enforcement, precursor chemical controls, monitoring emerging trends, countering illicit finance, and disrupting the global illicit drug supply chain. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid linked to a significant number of drug overdose deaths in the US. The talks involve officials from various US agencies.

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