US removes Chinese institutions from 'Entity List' over narcotics, a practice to 'rectify its errors'
Published: Nov 17, 2023 06:28 PM Updated: Nov 18, 2023 01:21 AM
Fentanyl Photo:VCG

Fentanyl Photo:VCG

The US government announced on Thursday that it will remove the Institute of Forensic Science of China's Ministry of Public Security (including the National Narcotics Laboratory address) from the "Entity List" and lift the sanctions. The decision took effect on Thursday, according to the office of the China National Narcotics Control Commission on Friday. Experts said China welcomes the move and believe that both countries should engage in careful negotiations regarding counternarcotics issues.

The US' move to lift the sanctions is a practice to "rectify its past errors," and China encourages it to continue on the right path, Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Friday.

In May 2020, without producing any evidence, the US added the Institute of Forensic Science of China's Ministry of Public Security and the National Narcotics Laboratory to its "Entity List." 

Such a practice of imposing sanctions on China's narcotics control authorities while seeking China's cooperation has seriously hindered the operation of China's fentanyl monitoring system and undermined the counter-narcotics cooperation between China and the US, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a report on "Reality Check: Falsehoods in US Perceptions of China'' released in June 2022.

In the summit meeting between China and the US at the Filoli Estate, San Francisco, held on Wednesday local time, both sides announced the establishment of a working group on counternarcotics cooperation, Wang Yi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Minister of Foreign Affairs, told the press.

China and the US should have serious negotiations regarding counternarcotics issues, Lü said. The root cause of the fentanyl abuse crisis in the US "lies in the US itself." The US should reflect on the underlying reasons itself, rather than blaming others, Lü noted. 

China has achieved notable results in counternarcotics governance despite the global spread of narcotics, and now has the strictest control over fentanyl in the world. China was also the first globally to have scheduled fentanyl as a class, Lü noted. 

On Friday, the office of the China National Narcotics Control Commission issued an announcement, warning relevant companies and individuals to prevent illegal and criminal activities involving the manufacturing, trafficking and smuggling of narcotic and psychotropic substances, as well as substances used for producing narcotic drugs.

It also reminds relevant companies and individuals to be cautions against the risk of long-arm jurisdiction by law enforcement agencies overseas over the sale of non-scheduled chemicals and relevant equipment.

Lü said the reminders are meaningful for Chinese companies or individuals, calling them to be cautious and responsible in their actions.

On June 23, the US Department of Justice announced indictments charging China-based companies and their employees with crimes related to fentanyl production, distribution and sales resulting from "precursor chemicals."

China strongly condemned this move and lodged serious démarches and strong protest to the US. "This is typical arbitrary detention and unilateral sanction, which is completely illegal. It seriously harms the basic human rights of the Chinese nationals and the interests of the Chinese companies concerned," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on June 24.