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Control of Fentanyl-related Substances in China
2022-09-09 17:05

Drugs are a common hazard for mankind. China, adhering to the principle of shared responsibility, has always been active in global drug control efforts.

In recent years, as drug control sees significant changes in the world, fentanyl-related substances and other new types of drugs gradually have become widespread and extensively abused especially in the United States, causing more deaths every year, as well as severe social problems. In response, for the health, safety and well-being of all mankind, China has been providing sufficient, comprehensive and selfless assistance in this regard to the countries concerned. Fentanyl currently does not constitute a prominent problem in China, with no report on major cases of abuse of fentanyl-related substances or any death caused thereby. On May 1, 2019, China became the first in the world to officially put all fentanyl-related substances under control on humanitarian grounds, making important contribution to the prevention of illegal production, trafficking and abuse of such substances. This was fully recognized by the international community including the United States.

After the class scheduling of all fentanyl-related substances, Chinese authorities have taken a series of targeted actions to ensure effective control:

First, relevant legislation was improved. Three legal documents were drafted for the filing and retrospective prosecution, conviction and sentence of fentanyl-related criminal cases to provide a solid legal basis for severe punishment for fentanyl-related crimes.

Second, technical support was strengthened. Five regional centers have been established under China’s National Anti-drug Laboratory, which marks significant progress in the development of a nationwide testing and monitoring system for fentanyl-related substances.

Third, investigation and control was intensified. Deployment was made to launch thorough screening for fentanyl-related substances nationwide so as to find out all enterprises, personnel, precursors and equipment related to fentanyl and put high-risk personnel under targeted control; efforts were also made to remove illegal information on the Internet and thus prevent illegal and criminal activities related to the production and trafficking of fentanyl-related substances at the source.

Fourth, law enforcement was enhanced. Arrangements were made for dedicated crack-down campaigns in provinces and municipalities of major concern to enhance investigation, interdiction and other enforcement efforts for drug control. No case of producing, trafficking or smuggling fentanyl-related substances has been reported in China since the class scheduling of fentanyl-related substances.

Fifth, international cooperation was promoted. The cases of Wang Fengxi and Chen Jianping involving smuggling fentanyl were hanled by jointly the United States and China, and the public sentencing of relevant criminals was a demonstration of what China-US cooperation in this field. In addition, China has always been controlling precursor chemicals in accordance with relevant international rules and domestic laws, and strengthening its control on these chemicals as the situation evolves, so as to keep them out of the reach of potential drug makers.

The control of fentanyl-related substances is an international issue, which requires joint efforts from relevant authorities of all countries. It’s clear that from the class scheduling of all fentanyl-related substances demonstrates China’s utmost sincerity and full support in this aspect. However, while efforts in China and around the world intensify for the control over fentanyl-related substances, the situation in the United States continues to deteriorate with the death toll going up rather than down. The reason for this is worth pondering. With continuous efforts for in-depth and systematic drug control, the drug situation in China has been improving. China is willing to share its practices and experience with all countries and stands ready to join hands with all countries to establish cooperation based on equality, mutual trust and shared benefits, so as to jointly address the global drug problem and promote international drug control.

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