“One of the things that President Xi told President Biden yesterday was he doesn’t want to see another American die because of fentanyl,” John Kirby, NSC coordinator for strategic communications, said at the on-the-record press call on the 16th.
God save the United States of America from John Kirby. If Xi Jinping wanted to, he could stop the flow of Chinese fentanyl to America in weeks, if not sooner. It’s apparent, therefore, that he wants to kill as many Americans as he can with the deadly, synthetic opioid.
Last year, about 70,000 in the U.S. died from illicit Chinese fentanyl.
Chinese pharmaceutical firms—some of them essentially criminal gangs—sell precursor chemicals to Mexican cartels, which mix them to produce fentanyl and smuggle the finished product into America through the southern border. Previously, Chinese producers sent fentanyl by mail directly to the United States.
At his meeting with President Joe Biden on the 15th, Xi agreed to reduce to Latin America the exports of precursor chemicals for fentanyl. China has issued a notice alerting industry to follow existing laws and has resumed sharing information with the International Narcotics Control Board. Beijing and Washington agreed to form a counternarcotics working group.
Biden touted progress on fentanyl at his post-summit press conference, but hold the optimism. Washington has been down this path before. The same Xi Jinping made essentially the same promises to President Trump in 2018. China also made similar pledges to Biden when he was vice president.
Some believe that China’s leader made a promise that he does not have the ability to keep. The Wall Street Journal’s Joseph Sternberg, for instance, writes that “Mr. Xi doesn’t control China’s vast web of wildcat pharma firms.” As a result, Xi “probably finds himself powerless to shut down the drug trade.”
So is the most powerful Chinese leader in more than four decades powerless to stop fentanyl exports? Xi Jinping runs a near-total surveillance state with, among other things, an estimated 700 million surveillance cameras. The state uses 1.69 billion cell phones to track people. The regime, in addition to the police, maintains a nationwide network of on-the-ground watchers to monitor and control the population.
The producers of fentanyl—both large and small—could not operate without the knowledge of the Communist Party and therefore its approval. That’s especially true because “China’s state-owned entities are involved in the manufacture and export” of fentanyl compounds,” as Steve Yates, chair of the China Policy Initiative of the America First Policy Institute, tells The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Furthermore, Chinese diplomats provide cover for the sellers of fentanyl precursors, and the sellers launder their proceeds through the Chinese state banking system. Officials inspect virtually every container leaving China.
And if all this were not enough, the Chinese state is run, as Biden correctly said on Wednesday, by a “dictator.” If China’s dictator wants something, he can get it.
Need proof that the Communist Party in fact controls the sale of fentanyl precursors? The Washington Post reports that Xi Jinping’s aides, on arrival in the U.S. for Wednesday’s summit, told their White House counterparts that Beijing “had already taken action against 25 Chinese companies involved in supplying chemicals used in the illicit fentanyl trade.” Isn’t that a coincidence?
None of this is to say that Xi knows everything that happens inside China’s boundaries or that he approves of everything that occurs there. It is to say, however, that when he wants to know something he can almost always find it out and he can stop activities when he puts his mind to do so.
In short, China can turn on—or off—the fentanyl trade at the whim of one man, Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping. He may not be all-powerful, but he is certainly powerful enough.
“This willful poisoning of our younger generation is the greatest attack on the American family in history,” Yates told this publication.
Yates lost his daughter, Christina Marie, to fentanyl-laced pills on the 30th of last month.
Gordon G. Chang is the author of The Coming Collapse of China and the just-released China Is Going to War. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter, @GordonGChang.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation