US hopes that China will apply greater control over the chemical precursors used to manufacture fentanyl


The conversations between the United States and China to curb the flow of chemicals used in the production of the lethal fentanyl were substantial, but there is much more to be done, declared the White House delegation in Beijing on Wednesday.

Washington expects greater cooperation in law enforcement, including combating illicit finances, and wants Beijing to exert more control over the chemicals that can be used to manufacture fentanyl, said the Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Adviser, Jen Daskal.

"We need to take many more measures in a series of areas that we have discussed," Daskal told Reuters in an interview at the U.S. embassy in Beijing after the talks, adding that "there is a renewed spirit of commitment to cooperate."

Daskal led a delegation with her Chinese counterparts for two days, resulting in the launch of an anti-narcotics working group, the first serious sign of cooperation to address the spread of fentanyl since late 2019.

The Beijing meetings follow a summit held in San Francisco in November, where U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed to work on the issue, marking a notable change in tone between the leaders and an improvement in relations.

Fentanyl is one of the leading causes of overdoses in the United States, which claims that China is the main source of the precursor chemicals synthesized by drug cartels in Mexico. Beijing denies this.

China said on Tuesday that the talks were "deep and pragmatic" and expressed hope that both parties can accommodate their concerns and "improve and expand cooperation to provide more positive energy for stable, robust, and sustainable relations with the United States."