China Weaponizes Fentanyl Issue Against America: Expert

By Hannah Ng
Hannah Ng
Hannah Ng
Reporter
Hannah Ng is a reporter covering U.S. and China news. She holds a master's degree in international and development economics from the University of Applied Science Berlin.
and Tiffany Meier
Tiffany Meier
Tiffany Meier
Tiffany Meier is a New York-based reporter and host of NTD's "China in Focus."
September 21, 2022 Updated: September 21, 2022

China has played a key role in flooding America with fentanyl, and the regime is now weaponizing the drug issue against the United States, according to Anders Corr, publisher of the Journal of Political Risk.

“China is linking the fentanyl issue and negotiations with other totally different issues like [the] Taiwan issue. So when Pelosi visited Taiwan, one of the ways in which China retaliated against the United States was to cease negotiations over the fentanyl issue,” Corr told the “China in Focus” program on NTD, a sister media outlet of The Epoch Times.

Weaponization

In the aftermath of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) trip to Taiwan, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) adopted a range of retaliatory measures against the United States.

Beijing announced the suspension of bilateral talks and collaborations with the United States related to illegal immigrant repatriation, criminal justice assistance, climate talks, transnational crime, and anti-drug programs.

Corr pointed out that over 100,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in the 12 months ending in April 2021, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

More than 64,000 of these deaths resulted from synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—the deadliest opioid in existence—the study shows.

Thus, Corr said Beijing is “essentially holding Americans or 100,000 Americans hostage to our Taiwan policy.”

“The precursors are mostly coming from China, and there are also labs in China.”

Yet “China has not done what it needs to do to shut down these labs, that they have to shut down the precursor trade,” he said.

“It is incredibly irresponsible or even evil.”

According to the political expert, the Biden administration has not effectively addressed this challenge from China.

“The Biden administration is trying to negotiate with them to make changes to get more controls on the precursor chemicals that are used in fentanyl. And China just isn’t budging,” Corr said.

Sanctions

To counter the threat posed by the Chinese regime, Corr called for economic sanctions.

“I think you could have economic sanctions against individuals and companies in China that are involved in that production of precursor chemicals for fentanyl—that would be a start,” he said. “China’s economy and governance are so interlinked.”

“It’s really a totalitarian state that what happens with these targeted sanctions—while it is good, and while they sort of serve an international educational function—they don’t really go far enough because the big companies can then move their fentanyl precursor production to small companies,” he said.

For that reason, Corr suggested increasing sanctions and tariffs on the entire Chinese economy.

“Let China know that the tariffs are being linked to the fentanyl production and all of the other problems that China has, from … the Xinjiang genocide to their aggression towards Taiwan, their theft of up to $600 billion a year in intellectual property from the United States alone,” he said.

Coordinated Efforts

To avoid repeating the case of Russia, where the sanction measures by the West have not effectively reached their intended goal, Corr said that a coordinated effort with American allies to slap sanctions on China is essential.

“When we raise our tariffs to 30 percent or 25 percent on China, we should expect our key allies in Europe, Japan, South Korea, and other countries that want to be our closest allies and get the most benefits from our market … to do the same,” he said.

“Because if they don’t, then … the sanctions have much less effect.”

Corr said that America also needs to curb its dependence on Chinese-made prescription drugs.

“We’re highly dependent on China for all of our prescription drugs—that needs to change. The fentanyl crisis really shows that that needs to change.”

“We need to start making precursors in the United States. … We need to start making all of our prescription drugs in the United States so that we can trust them … not to be somehow laced with something that is actually extremely unhealthy for the U.S. population,” Corr said.

“This … drug independence, prescription drug independence from China will allow us in the future to impose tougher restrictions on them.”

Hannah Ng
Reporter
Hannah Ng is a reporter covering U.S. and China news. She holds a master's degree in international and development economics from the University of Applied Science Berlin.
Tiffany Meier is a New York-based reporter and host of NTD's "China in Focus."