China touts fentanyl convictions, tackling key trade talks issue

Police stand guard outside the Xingtai Intermediate People’s court in Xingtai China Thursday Nov. 7 2019. A Chinese court sentenced three fentanyl traffickers Thursday in a case that was a culmination of a rare collaboration between Chinese and U.S

Nine jailed in China for smuggling fentanyl to US after landmark operation

The convictions are the first to arise from China's joint investigation with American law enforcement into smuggling of the highly-addictive painkiller that has been blamed for thousands of overdose deaths in the U.S.

In August, Trump took to Twitter to accuse Chinese leader Xi Jinping of failing to stem the flow of opioids, which he said Xi had promised as part of ongoing trade negotiations.

A Chinese court sentenced three fentanyl traffickers Thursday in a case that was a culmination of a rare collaboration between Chinese and USA law enforcement to crack down on global networks that manufacture and distribute lethal synthetic opioids.

China's narcotics office discovered a criminal network based in Shanghai and eastern Jiangsu province in 2017 and seized 11.9 kg (26.2 pounds) of fentanyl, according to a notice from USA border authorities. UU.

The court in Xingtai said one member of the ring named Liu Yong would receive a death sentence, suspended for two years, while two others would get life in prison.

All three were "attracted by high profits and high demand, quot; from United States buyers, said the Xingtai Intermediate People's Court".

China has faced US criticism for not doing enough to prevent the flow of fentanyl into the United States, and the issue has become another irritant in bilateral ties, already strained by a bruising trade war the two are now working to end.

China on Thursday jailed nine people for selling fentanyl to Americans, the result of a landmark joint probe, following Donald Trump's fury at Beijing for its perceived inaction against Chinese suppliers fuelling the deadly opioid crisis in the United States.

In November 2016, two of the defendants began advertising drugs through the internet using companies they had registered for pharmaceutical sales operations, the court said in a statement.

"On the China side, we have cracked down on all the sales, production and smuggling-related aspects; we hope that it will have a positive effect in the USA too", Yu said.

Moore said officers in New Orleans obtained in August 2017 the contact details of a supplier in China known as "Diana".

However, Trump announced new tariffs on China during the summer in response to what he saw as China's continuing failure to stop the flow of fentanyl into the United States.

The two countries have since pledged to work together to fight the proliferation of the drug, although Beijing has rejected responsibility for the USA addiction crisis.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 500,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in the decade ending in 2017 - increasingly, from synthetic opioids like the ones sold by the Xingtai network.

"This further demonstrates the Chinese government's consistent attitude of zero tolerance towards drug crimes", said Mr Yu Haibing, deputy secretary general of the China National Narcotics Control Commission on Thursday.

Scrambling to contain surging overdose deaths, Washington has blamed Beijing for failing to curb the supply of synthetic drugs that USA officials say come mainly from China.

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