China ‘firmly opposes’ US sanctions over fentanyl crisis

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Beijing said on Wednesday it firmly opposed sanctions placed by the United States on a China-based network for producing and distributing chemicals believed to fuel the fentanyl crisis.

The US administration of President Joe Biden had on Tuesday announced sanctions against 25 individuals and entities based in China, alongside three other parties in Canada.

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The US Justice Department also announced eight indictments charging China-based chemical manufacturing firms and staff, with Attorney General Merrick Garland saying that the global supply chain of fentanyl “often starts with chemical companies in China”.

“We firmly oppose the United States’ sanction and prosecution against Chinese entities and individuals, and the severe infringement of the lawful rights and interests of the relevant enterprises and persons,” Beijing’s foreign ministry told AFP.

“The fentanyl crisis in the United States is rooted in the country itself,” it said, adding that Beijing has “lodged solemn representations to the United States”.

Biden’s administration has made the fight against fentanyl a priority, with the synthetic opioid blamed for tens of thousands of deaths in recent years.

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