In an effort to combat the opioid crisis here in the United States, Trump has enlisted the help of China – a major producer of the strong, addictive drugs.
Last December, Trump alluded to a promise that China’s leader, Xi Jinping, made that would be a major step towards ending the opioid crisis.
On Monday, Xi Jinping made good on this pledge and announced that China is ceasing the production of fentanyl, with all forms of the opioid now being banned and treated as an illegal narcotic in the country.
Jinping’s announcement is a huge victory in the war against opioid addiction and strengthens the relationship between the United States and China under President Trump.
Take a look at what Donald Trump Jr. had to say on Twitter about this “huge win”:
Here are some other tweets circulating this breaking news:
The New York Times had the following to say:
China announced on Monday that it would ban all variants of the powerful opioid fentanyl, a move that could slow the supply of a drug that in recent years has caused tens of thousands of overdose deaths in the United States.
By declaring that all varieties of fentanyl are now controlled substances, China made good on a pledge that the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, made to President Trump late last year.
China’s export of the drug, which American officials say accounts for the vast majority of the fentanyl that ends up in the United States, has long been a source of tension in relations. More recently, it has also become tangled up in the continuing trade war.
China already treats more than two dozen variants of fentanyl and its precursors as controlled substances, thus strictly regulating their production and distribution, but it has banned those variants only after reviewing them case by case, a process that can be lengthy. And because so many more variants exist, and new ones are constantly being created, banning them as a broadly defined class could be far more effective.
The latest step would expand restrictions to all “fentanyl-related substances,” effective May 1. That could plug gaps that, experts and American officials have said, allowed manufacturers in China to make novel variations of the drug that were not technically illegal.
CNN had more details to give:
The Chinese government will add fentanyl-related substances to their list of controlled drugs from May 1, in a move aimed at curtailing the manufacturing and distribution of one of the world's most powerful opioids.
The new laws are likely to be interpreted as win for US President Donald Trump, who has taken a strong stance against fentanyl and was full of praise for China in December 2018 when President Xi Jinping first agreed to the move.
"This could be a game changer on what is considered to be the worst and most dangerous, addictive and deadly substance of them all," Trump posted on Twitter at the time.
An extremely powerful synthetic drug, fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin.
According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, fentanyl was used in one in four overdose deaths in the US in 2018, killing just over 18,000 people in one year and overtaking heroin and oxycodone as the country's most deadly drug.
On Monday, China's Ministry of Public Security, National Health Commission and the National Medical Products Administration came together to make the announcement at a press conference in Beijing.
Liu Yuejin, deputy head of China's National Narcotics Control Commission, called the move a "major innovative measure" in the country's contribution to the global war on drugs.
The top anti-narcotics official said the new regulation would prevent drug labs from evading the law by simply tweaking chemical structures of their products.
Liu stressed that China would enforce its laws "even more comprehensively" after the latest announcement and "bring violators to justice without mercy."