China stresses crackdown on fentanyl smuggling

Police stand guard outside the Xingtai Intermediate People’s court in Xingtai county north China’s Hebei province Thursday Nov. 7 2019

Two others received life terms for trafficking fentanyl and alprazolam - the hugely popular prescription anxiety drug branded as Xanax.

Despite Mr. Trump's criticism that Beijing had reneged on its promise to crack down on the production of the drug, China said it was "willing to conduct honest and concrete anti-drug cooperation" with the U.S.to tackle fentanyl trafficking.

China's narcotics bureau discovered in 2017 a criminal ring based in Shanghai and eastern Jiangsu province and seized 11.9kg of fentanyl, acting on a tip-off from USA border authorities, according to the court.

Chinese officials said they are pursuing three similar cases of fentanyl trafficking in partnership with USA law enforcement. She adds, "U.S. authorities have carried out three "major criminal arrests" in NY and OR as part of the same case".

"As the success of this joint investigation demonstrates, Chinese and American investigators have the capacity to collaborate across global borders - bringing those who would harm our respective communities to justice".

China placed all fentanyl-related drugs on its list of controlled substances in May, a step that was cheered by USA officials who said it would eliminate loopholes that had hampered efforts to prosecute drug suppliers and manufacturers.

The Chinese court said it was the first time U.S. and Chinese officers had worked together on such a case.

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Trump insists he did nothing wrong. "But this is the man who said there was no quid pro quo, and he still said that". The familiar dustup between the president and the news outlet comes less than a week before the U.S.

In form, the enterprise resembled a small business, with a perky sales force that spoke passable English, online marketing, contract manufacturing, and a sophisticated export operation, according to US and Chinese law enforcement. Liu Yong was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve while on the other hand, Jiang Juhua and Wang Fengxi were sentenced to life in prison. US officials have reportedly moved to link Beijing's efforts on fentanyl to USA trade talks.

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"Drug crime is the public enemy of all humankind", he added. He said the case should not be connected to politics or the trade war, and the timing of the sentencing was the result of the legal process. "It's about the life of human beings". Chinese officials deny that, blaming greedy pharmaceutical companies, lax regulation, and out-of-control demand as the reasons America has an opioid abuse crisis.

Mr Trump has claimed fentanyl kills "100,000 Americans a year".

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 500,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in the decade ending in 2017 - increasingly, from synthetic opioids like the ones sold by the Xingtai network. Many people who became hooked on pain pills later moved to heroin.

Some U.S. officials, including Trump, have faulted an underground Chinese industry - and lax Chinese government oversight - for an influx of opioids into the United States that caused as many as 30,000 overdose deaths in 2018.

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