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China Says Trump's Fentanyl Claims Are False

'What Trump said is completely groundless and untrue'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 3, 2019 3:48 AM CDT
Liu Yuejin, the vice commissioner of China's National Narcotics Control Commission, speaks during a press conference in Beijing, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019.   (AP Photo/Sam McNeil)
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(Newser) – China said Tuesday that it's not the source of the fentanyl that's killing Americans, contrary to President Trump's recent tweets blaming China for the drug deaths. At a briefing for the National Narcotics Control Commission, China reiterated that it is making extensive efforts toward controlling the synthetic opioid and should not be labeled the main origin of fentanyl to the US, the AP reports. The drug often comes through the mail or across the Mexico border. It can be stronger and more lethal than heroin and is responsible for tens of thousands of American drug deaths each year. Amid the latest round of tariff increases between the two countries last month, Trump blasted China in a Twitter thread in which he vowed to order all postal carriers to "SEARCH FOR & REFUSE all deliveries of fentanyl from China (or anywhere else!)."

"President Xi said this would stop—it didn't," Trump added, referring to Chinese leader Xi Jinping. "What Trump said is completely groundless and untrue," Liu Yuejin, the narcotics commission's vice commissioner, told reporters Tuesday. In a sweeping change in May, China began regulating all fentanyl-related drugs as a class of controlled substances with the aim of curbing illegal drug trafficking. No fentanyl smuggling cases have been discovered between the US and China since the new measures were implemented, Liu said. Liu noted that fentanyl deaths continue to rise despite increasingly strict controls on the Chinese side, which he said was an indication that the drugs were not coming from China. Law enforcement officials in Virginia said last week, however, that China was linked to a seizure of enough cheap fentanyl to kill 14 million people.

(Read more fentanyl stories.)

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