‘No Evidence’: Months After Xi’s Promise To Biden, Report Finds China Still Isn’t Lifting A Finger On Fentanyl Crisis

China has made little effort to curb the flow of fentanyl from its shores despite promising the Biden administration that it would, a new congressional report released Tuesday found.

Following a meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping in November, the Biden administration and China formed a counternarcotics “working group” aimed at stemming the global production and trafficking of narcotics, specifically fentanyl. The U.S. House Select Committee on Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) “found no evidence of new criminal enforcement actions” by Beijing against manufacturers and traffickers of fentanyl precursors in a new investigative report.

Moreover, the CCP continues to enable the fentanyl crisis because it “directly subsidizes” the production and export of precursors, has financial interests in companies responsible for trafficking the product and allows its sale online, according to the report. Nearly 108,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2022, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CCP “fails to prosecute” the manufacturers and traffickers of the precursors, going so far as to warn them when U.S. law enforcement asks for assistance in an investigation, the report alleges.

“This failure — when combined with new evidence establishing that the [People’s Republic of China] incentivizes the export of illegal drugs abroad and holds ownership stake in companies doing the same — casts doubt on the veracity of the PRC’s claims that it will act to stem the massive export of illicit fentanyl materials and other dangerous synthetic narcotics,” the report reads.


China has long been identified as one of the locus points for the fentanyl crisis in the U.S. Fentanyl precursors and other synthetic opioid ingredients are manufactured in China and exported to countries like Mexico, where they are then assembled into final products and trafficked over the southern border, killing scores of Americans every year, according to a 2020 report from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

The Biden administration’s counternarcotics partnership with China, formed months prior to the release of the House CCP report, sought to pair multiple U.S. agencies with their Beijing counterparts to “counter the scourge of fentanyl,” according to a readout from the State Department in February. “It is a mechanism for ongoing bilateral communication and policy and law enforcement coordination… which will help to save lives in the United States and around the world.”

The working group was formed after Biden and Xi met on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco in November 2023 to discuss a host of issues, including the fentanyl crisis. During their meeting, Xi promised Biden he would take steps to “dramatically curtail” the production and trafficking of fentanyl precursors.

The State Department and Beijing’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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