A top Chinese official blamed the United States for the fentanyl crisis prior to high-level talks with American officials, NBC News reported.
Overdoses killed over 100,000 Americans in 2021, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yu Haibin, deputy secretary-general of the National Narcotics Control Commission and deputy director general of the Ministry of Public Security’s Narcotics Control Bureau, claimed demand for the drug was the cause of the crisis in an interview with NBC.
High-level talks between Chinese and U.S. officials are set to occur next week, with the goal of resuming cooperative efforts between Beijing and Washington to tamp down on illicit drugs, primarily fentanyl, NBC News reported.
“The crisis in the U.S. is not manufactured by China; rather, its roots lie within the United States itself,” Yu said, according to NBC News.
The Justice Department secured indictments against six Chinese manufacturers on fentanyl-related charges in June and October. Chinese dealers offer fentanyl precursors for sale in risqué social media ads, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation review of hundreds of English and Chinese-language social media posts.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has seized over 55 million fentanyl pills in 2023 alone, CBS News reported. Chinese President Xi Jingping agreed to take steps to control fentanyl precursors during a November meeting with President Joe Biden.
“There is a strong desire among the Chinese to support and help Americans get rid of the crisis,” Yu claimed.
One kilogram of fentanyl can reportedly kill up to a half-million people, according to the DEA.