Foreign Ministry Spokesperson’s Remarks on US Arrest of Chinese Nationals and Indictments of Chinese Individuals and Companies on Fentanyl-related Charges
2023/06/24 18:10

Q: On June 23 local time, the US Department of Justice announced indictments charging China-based companies and their employees with crimes related to fentanyl production, distribution and sales resulting from precursor chemicals. What’s your comment?

A: US law enforcement personnel ensnared Chinese nationals through “sting operation” in a third country and blatantly pressed charges against Chinese entities and individuals. This is typical arbitrary detention and unilateral sanction, which is completely illegal. It seriously harms the basic human rights of the Chinese nationals and the interests of the Chinese companies concerned. China strongly condemns this move and has lodged serious démarches and strong protest to the US side.

China is an active participant in international counter-narcotics cooperation. Out of a sense of humanitarianism, China scheduled fentanyl-related substance as a class—the first country to do so in the world—which has played an important role in preventing the illicit manufacturing, trafficking and abuse of fentanyl. Instead of giving China the credit for its contribution, the US imposed illegal sanctions on Chinese counter-narcotics institutions and then openly slandered China’s counter-narcotics efforts and illegally sanctioned Chinese companies. The US has now gone even further by ensnaring and indicting Chinese nationals. Such long-arm jurisdiction and bullyism that tramples on international law has further undermined the lawful rights and interests of relevant Chinese institutions and nationals, and seriously undercut the foundation for China-US cooperation on counter-narcotics.

Things the US has so far been doing to address its concerns over the drug problem—be it pressure tactics, coercion or some kind of illegal operations—are essentially all about scapegoating. This will not work and benefits no one. We urge the US to stop shifting the blame, stop smearing and attacking China, immediately lift all sanctions on Chinese counter-narcotics law enforcement institutions, stop using fentanyl-related issues as a pretext to sanction, indict or offer awards to hunt Chinese companies or nationals, stop the arbitrary detentions, and immediately release the Chinese nationals under illegal arrest. China will continue to do what is necessary to firmly defend the lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies and nationals.

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