Crime & Justice

US lifts China sanctions to enable fight against fentanyl

San Francisco, US, Nov 17 (EFE).- The United States on Thursday lifted sanctions on the Chinese Ministry of Public Security’s Institute of Forensic Science to enable bilateral anti-drugs cooperation in the fight against fentanyl.

US State Department spokesman Matt Miller announced during a press conference in Washington that the decision had been made to remove the institute from a trade sanctions list to encourage cooperation between the two powers.

“The continued listing of the IFS on the Commerce Entity List was a barrier to achieving cooperation on stopping the trafficking of precursor chemicals,” Miller said.

The announcement comes after the White House announced this Wednesday that the presidents of the US, Joe Biden, and China, Xi Jinping, had reached an agreement for China to control the export of certain chemicals from its territory that Mexican drug cartels allegedly use to manufacture fentanyl and sell illegally in the US.

The Chinese government did not specify that an agreement had been reached on fentanyl in its official statement, but it did indicate that an understanding had been reached to create a “working group” on narcotics.

Beijing had been asking Washington for months to lift the sanctions on the Institute of Forensic Sciences of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security, dedicated to criminal investigations that include the fight against drugs.

That entity was sanctioned during the Trump government (2017-2021) for abuses against Muslim minorities in the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang, which Beijing denies.

In 2021, fentanyl overdoses claimed 70,601 lives in the US – about 193 people every day, according to the latest data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. EFE


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