BEIJING, Sep. 26 (Reuters / EP) –
The director of National Drug Control Policy, Jim Carroll, said Thursday that he believes that China is “fully committed” to cooperate with the United States to stop the trafficking of fentanyl, a drug that has played an important role in a devastating crisis of opioids in the United States.
Carroll's statements came after the president of the United States, Donald Trump, accused his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in August of failing to stop fentanyl exports.
At that time, China described Trump's accusation as “flagrant slander” and argued that the United States needs to do more to combat the abuse of fentanyl and reduce the demand for the drug.
“I am absolutely convinced that the Chinese, starting with President Xi until Public Security Minister Zhao Kezhi, are absolutely committed to doing this,” said Carroll.
Fentanyl is 50 times more deadly than heroin and plays a central role in the devastating opioid crisis in the United States. In the country, this opioid is subject to strict regulations and is related to the more than 28,000 deaths from opioid overdoses recorded in 2017, according to data from the US Government.
The United States Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions on three Chinese men accused of illegal fentanyl trafficking in August.
The National Institute of Drug Abuse reported earlier this year that 130 people die every day in the United States due to an opioid overdose, including prescription pain relievers, heroin and synthetic drugs such as fentanyl.