Control of Fentanyl-related Substances in China
2022-09-01 22:41

Drugs are hazardous to all mankind. China, in line with the principle of shared responsibility, has always taken an active part in addressing global drug problems.

In recent years, as the world drug situation evolves, fentanyl-related substances and other new drugs are widely abused in the United States and other countries, ramping up the death toll year by year and causing serious social problems. To safeguard the health, safety and well-being of all mankind, China has given full, comprehensive and selfless support to relevant countries to help address these problems, even though fentanyl does not impose serious threat in China with neither large-scale abuse nor death toll reported. On May 1, 2019, China took the lead in the world to schedule the whole category of fentanyl-related substances on a humanitarian basis, played a vital role in preventing the illicit manufacturing, trafficking and abuse of these substances and has won full recognition from the international community including the United States.

After the whole category of fentanyl-related substances had been listed as controlled substances, relevant departments of China took series of targeted measures to put such control policies and regulations in place. First, legal system was further optimized. Three legal documents regarding filing,  prosecution, conviction and sentencing of offences involving fentanyl-related substances were drafted to serve as solid legal foundation. Second, technical support was enhanced. With five new sub-centers of National Drug Laboratory established throughout China, China has made great progress in improving fentanyl testing and monitoring system. Third, inspection and control were further strengthened. Inspection, investigation and control campaigns on fentanyl-related substances were launched throughout China to get more information on relevant enterprises, persons, precursors and equipment. High-risk persons were listed for focused control and online illegal information was cleared up to effectively prevent offences. Fourth, law enforcement was further strengthened. Special campaigns were organized in key provinces and cities to enhance inspection, interdiction and crackdown. There was no criminal case involving the manufacturing, trafficking and smuggling of fentanyl-related substances in China since the scheduling of all types of fentanyl-related substances. Fifth, international cooperation was further enhanced. The Wang Fengxi Case and Chen Jianping Case regarding smuggling of fentanyl jointly uncovered by the United States and China were publicly adjudged, showcasing the cooperative achievements between the two countries. In the meantime, China has always strictly controlled precursor chemicals in line with international rules and domestic laws, and continuously strengthened the management and control based on the latest dynamics to prevent illicit diversion.

The control of fentanyl-related substances is a global challenge that calls for joint efforts of all countries. China has fully demonstrated its sincerity and support on scheduling the whole category of fentanyl-related substances. Nevertheless, although stricter control measures have been imposed by the international community and China, fentanyl problem in the United States still keeps deteriorating with death tolls rising instead of falling. The reasons behind this are worth pondering. Now the drug situation in China is getting better after continuous, in-depth and systematic governance, China would be happy to share best practices and experience, and join hands with all countries to address the world drug problems on a cooperative relationship featuring equality, mutual trust, mutual benefit and win-win results.

Source: China National Narcotics Control Committee