China sentences fentanyl smuggler to death in joint effort with US police

By Zhao Yusha in Xingtai, Xu Keyue in Beijing Source:Global Times Published: 2019/11/7 11:44:00

Photo: Zhao Yusha/GT

Handing death and life sentences to fentanyl sellers and producers signals China's strong determination for regulating this new kind of drug, besides highlighting the cooperation between China and the US to crack down on an international fentanyl smuggling case, according to experts. 

Xingtai intermediate court in North China's Hebei Province sentenced one man to death for producing and selling fentanyl, and his two accomplices were given life sentences, which show China's "zero-tolerance" policy toward drug-related crimes.

The group manufactured fentanyl in China and then smuggled the drugs to the US to meet the demands of US buyers. 

Chinese and US law enforcement agencies exchanged information frequently, and China successfully traced down the group thanks to the US tip-offs. After three months' hard work and tens of thousands miles of travel, China finally arrested more than 20 suspects and confiscated 11.9 kilograms of fentanyl, 19.1 kilograms of alprazolam and other drugs. 

The US notified China when they got the information, which propelled China to take swift action, and China also provided information of suspicious parcels to the US so they checked those parcels at the customs. 

Ni Feng, a deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of American Studies, told the Global Times on Thursday that China is determined to crack down on any form of drug crimes. It is a consistent policy of the Chinese government to combat the menace of drugs.

The cooperation is a highlight of the two countries' battle to combat the menace of fentanyl smuggling. 

However, some foreign media have been hyping that China sentencing those people is aimed at wooing the US to settle the trade negotiation. 

Diao Daming, a US studies expert and an associate professor at Renmin University in China, said connecting fentanyl with the trade negotiations indicated that the US was trying to use it as a bargaining chip in trade negotiations with China. 

The two things are totally irrelevant and the US understands China's determination to crack down on fentanyl problems, he said, noting that forcibly bringing the two issues together shows the US is already running out of ways to pressure China.

Liu Yuejin, deputy director of the National Narcotics Control Commission, said in September that although China had been working closely with the US on curbing the illicit flow of the substances, such efforts were "totally irrelevant" to the trade negotiations and the two issues "should not be mixed together."

US President Donald Trump has been weaponizing the fentanyl issue with trade negotiations.

China has been devoted to regulating the new drug in recent years. 

Posted in: SOCIETY

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