- US Pres. Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will reportedly announce a new deal to crack down on the manufacturing and trade of fentanyl-producing chemicals at their summit meeting in San Francisco on Wednesday.1
- Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the negotiations, that Beijing would target companies producing the drug and exporting its precursor chemicals in exchange for China's Institution of Forensic Science — allegedly involved in human rights abuses in Xinjiang — to be taken off US blacklist.2
- The agreement, which has yet to be finalized, has been a priority for the Biden admin. ahead of the first meeting between the two leaders in a year. National security adviser Jake Sullivan stressed Monday that combating the fentanyl trade was among areas where the interests of both the US and China align.3
- Though China has previously sought to suppress the production and export of fentanyl, companies adapted to sell precursor chemicals — which also have legitimate uses — to Mexico as Beijing had refused to limit that trade.4
- According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rate of overdose deaths related to the opioid more than tripled from 2016 through 2021. Fentanyl, known for being up to 50 times stronger than heroin, is increasingly combined with other illicit drugs, often leading to fatalities.5
- The fentanyl crisis has affected multiple American cities, including San Francisco where the upcoming summit will be held. Mayor London Breed has blamed the drug for its major impact on the city, including aggravating its homelessness crisis.6
- Anti-China narrative, as provided by Daily Mail. After years of allowing the flow of precursor chemicals to Mexican cartels to fuel the fentanyl crisis that has decimated multiple American cities, Xi Jinping has apparently agreed to clean his own mess. And while this agreement is certainly a positive breakthrough, it's vital to understand that Beijing will stop enforcing the fentanyl deal if Washington ever criticizes Xi or the Chinese Communist Party.
- Pro-China narrative, as provided by Global Times. Hopefully, the US seems to have come to its senses after unreasonably imposing sanctions on Chinese institutions and individuals that were allegedly connected to the US homemade fentanyl crisis. Progress was made when both countries cooperated in good faith, so it would be great news if Washington finally decided to restore cooperation in the arena of drug control.