China Adds Fentanyl In Controlled Substance List Amid U.S. Pleas

Fentanyl
FILE PHOTO: Plastic bags of Fentanyl are displayed on a table at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection area at the International Mail Facility at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. November 29, 2017. (Photo: REUTERS/Joshua Lott/File Photo)

China announced on Monday that they will add fentanyl analogs to its list of controlled substance starting on May 1 after the United States pleaded that China should crack down on the drug that fuels deadly opioid crisis.

Fentanyl is a highly dangerous drug used as painkiller which became the heart of the United States opioid epidemic. According to reports, the health authorities and manufacturers are too lax on their oversight of the drug since it is often being overprescribed by doctors.

Caleb Alexander, co-director at the Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness at Johns Hopkins, the drug can kill and there's no question that individuals have died from inappropriate prescribing of these products.

There are claims that circulate that China is the main source of the narcotic. The effect of fentanyl is said to be 50 times stronger than heroin and it is one of the causes of recorded death by overdose in the United States.

The issue was discussed during the trade talks between the United States and China. According to reports, the Asian country assured that they will add the drug on the list when President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping settled to a tariffs truce in December.

Liu Yuejin, the deputy director of the National Anti-Drug Commission of China, said during a press conference on Monday that the concerns of the United States have all been resolved. He said that the US is concerned about all variants (of fentanyl), and it's all been resolved. There were no comments from the White House on the topic.

According to Trump in December, China's move to add fentanyl on the list could be a "game changer". He emphasized that Chinese courts can sentence drug traffickers with death.

On his tweet, the United States President said that if China cracks down on this 'horror drug,' using the Death Penalty for distributors and pushers, the results will be incredible.

China's Vice Premier Liu He, the country's top trade negotiator, is expected to visit Washington this week to continue the trade negotiations from last week's meeting in China. The diplomats present during the briefing said that China's actions marked a significant step in the combat of the drug trade.

According to a police and customs liaison officer for the Swedish embassy in China, Stefan Thorsell, what China did was extremely important. He also said that even though Sweden is a small country we have problems, not as big as the United States, but we have problems with fentanyl as well.

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