New York Post

China Must Pay for Its Mass Murder by Fueling America’s Fentanyl Overdose Epidemic

Distinguished Fellow
Pill bottles in a raided fentanyl lab in Tijuana, Mexico, on Friday, July 29, 2022. (Photo by Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Pill bottles in a raided fentanyl lab in Tijuana, Mexico, on Friday, July 29, 2022. (Photo by Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The mass importation of Chinese fentanyl is slaughtering Americans at an annual rate equal to that of our bloodiest year in World War II. China is actively encouraging and facilitating this campaign of mass murder — as the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party revealed Tuesday in a bombshell bipartisan report. It is a euphemism to call the mass distribution of fentanyl “drug trafficking.” Fentanyl is a deadly poison. The tiniest amount is lethal.

It is typically distributed in disguised form so people who take it think they’re taking prescription drugs, such as Percocet, Xanax or Adderall. Even when a drug is taken as an opioid, its victims have no idea it contains a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl. 

Trafficking fentanyl is outright murder. It is like shooting randomly into a crowd. Those who ply and enable this trade know with moral certainty they are killing people on a mass scale. The scale of carnage is intolerable and getting worse. Drug overdose deaths stand at 112,000 a year and continue to climb — the vast majority attributable to fentanyl. And this is not the only damage done.

A congressional report found the opioid crisis, largely fentanyl-fueled, cost America nearly $1.5 trillion in 2020 — 7% of gross domestic product. The United States has long known China is the source of the fentanyl slaughtering Americans. It produces 97% of the illicit fentanyl precursors essential to making it. There’s no practical alternative source for the volume of precursors necessary. Simply put, without China’s production and export of fentanyl and fentanyl precursors, there would be no fentanyl crisis. But there has been a question about the government’s and party’s precise role.

Has this been an illicit business carried on by Chinese organized crime and corrupt businessmen, with the government simply reluctant to help stop what it sees as primarily an American problem? Or is this effectively an intentional program to wreak havoc in the United States, given impetus, support and encouragement by China and the CCP? Thanks to the select committee’s trailblazing work, we have a much clearer picture.

Its meticulous report presents detailed and convincing evidence that Beijing and the CCP are not just bystanders — they are the prime movers behind fentanyl’s mass importation into America. Committee investigators found a hidden Chinese-government website that offers complete tax rebates incentivizing the export of all fentanyl analogues and precursors, as well as other synthetic narcotics — drugs illegal in China and America and without any legitimate purpose. These rebates allow Chinese drug companies to effectively operate tax free when they make and export fentanyl precursors. What conceivable basis could there be for the Chinese government to incentivize the production and export of these illegal drugs, knowing they are bound for the United States, where they will kill more than 200 Americans a day?

The committee also learned Beijing provides grants and awards to companies engaging in open and notorious synthetic-narcotics manufacturing and drug-trafficking. And it discovered the government has ownership stakes in certain Chinese chemical companies exporting significant amounts of illicit fentanyl products, as well as publicly traded Chinese companies that openly and notoriously host on their websites illicit drugs for sale to Americans. Tellingly, in contrast to China’s aggressive prosecution of domestic drug-traffickers — Chinese media regularly cover executions of such traffickers — the committee found no sign it’s pursued cases involving illegal export of narcotics. This, despite Western law enforcement supplying compelling evidence of violations and despite China’s notorious system of intense social surveillance and control.

Beijing’s role in producing and exporting illicit drugs dovetails with the emergence of Chinese organized crime as the principal financiers and money-launderers for the drug cartels. The CCP has been tightening its alliance with Chinese organized crime to gain influence outside China, and US law enforcement investigating Chinese money-laundering have found evidence indicating some schemes involved Chinese government officials and the Communist Party elite, per the committee report. Some may find it hard to believe a modern state would be so complicit in the campaign of mass murder against another country’s citizens. But the committee’s work provides powerful evidence it is.

As we try to defend our country against the deadly drug onslaught — not just fentanyl but now new generations of hideous Chinese drugs like nitazenesand xylazine (“tranqs”) — we must understand what we’re dealing with. The Chinese have not been acting in good faith. The idea they’re willing to cooperate with us in combating drug-trafficking is delusional. China is one of the most pervasive police states on the planet. It has the capacity to shut down the production and export of illicit narcotics. But Beijing will not move to do so unless it understands there will be severe economic consequences — including sanctions — if it continues its complicity in the mass poisoning of American citizens.

Read in the New York Post.