Biden urges Xi to crack down on fentanyl production as drug overdose deaths soar in US

Biden and Xi

New Delhi: US President Joe Biden met Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) in America and discussed ways to resolve their bilateral differences. One of the key issues that Biden raised with Xi was the need to curb the production and export of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid drug that has caused thousands of overdose deaths in the US.

Fentanyl is a cheap and potent drug that is 100 times more intoxicating than morphine and 50 times more intoxicating than heroin. A small dose of fentanyl, equivalent to the tip of a pencil, can be fatal. The drug is smuggled into the US from China, where it is manufactured by illicit companies. The drug is sold under various street names, such as China Girl, China Town, China White, Dance Fever, Good Fellas, He-Man, Poison Tango, and Cash.

According to the latest data, more than 70 thousand people have died due to overdose. Fentanyl is the main driver of the opioid crisis in the US, which has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Biden pressured Xi to take strict action against the Chinese companies that produce and export fentanyl and its related chemicals. He also urged Xi to ban the production, sale, and export of all fentanyl-related drugs without a license. Biden said that the US and China have a shared responsibility to combat the global drug problem and save lives.

Biden and Xi

Xi agreed to cooperate with the US on the fentanyl issue and said that China has taken steps to control the production and export of fentanyl and its analogues. He said that China has added more than 200 substances to its list of controlled drugs and has cracked down on illegal drug trafficking. He said that China is willing to work with the US and other countries to enhance information sharing and law enforcement cooperation on the fentanyl issue.