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China, US to restart stalled fentanyl talks in Beijing

By AFP

January 30, 2024 01:10 PM


Representational image

China and the United States will meet Tuesday in Beijing to resume stalled talks on stemming the production of ingredients for the drug fentanyl.

The synthetic opioid, many times more powerful than heroin, has caused an epidemic of addiction in the United States, with 100,000 overdose deaths a year, making it the leading cause of death of people aged 18 to 49, US officials have said.

Washington hopes to get China to cooperate on tackling companies that manufacture the precursor chemicals to make fentanyl and on cutting financing for the trade.

Tuesday's meeting will include high-level US officials from the State Department, Treasury, Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department, Washington has said.

The United States says it will "provide a platform to facilitate ongoing coordination designed to tackle the illicit production, financing, and distribution of illicit drugs".

China has not said who from its side will attend the meeting.

President Xi Jinping pledged during a summit with US President Joe Biden in November to clamp down on the trade.

"For years bilateral cooperation between the United States and the People's Republic of China on counternarcotics has been suspended which has hindered our progress," a US official said last week.

"But that changed during the November 15 meeting," the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

Since the summit China has shut down one company, blocked some international payments and resumed sharing information on shipments and trafficking, added the official.


AFP


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