Beijing diplomats have denied US claims that the chemicals used by Mexican drug cartels to make the deadly opioid fentanyl come from China.
China’s Mexico embassy said in a statement on Tuesday that Beijing had measures in place to prevent the trafficking of substances used to make illegal drugs, and said the US was “blindly shirking its responsibilities” by not taking domestic action.
“The root of the fentanyl crisis in the United States is within itself,” the embassy said.
US President Joe Biden’s administration has been seeking cooperation with both Mexico and China in stemming the flow of fentanyl, which has fuelled a health crisis and a sharp rise in overdose deaths, as well as its precursor chemicals.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration says the addictive painkiller and its precursors are transported from China to Mexico, the US and Canada, often by international mail.
China had denied the illegal trafficking of fentanyl to Mexico in an April statement, though it did not address precursor chemicals.
The embassy on Tuesday said China was “actively coordinating and strengthening” supervision of drug-making substances with Mexico.
The US embassy in Mexico and Mexico’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The Chinese statement, the embassy said, comes after recent comments from US Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar and other US officials.
Last week, the US Treasury sanctioned 10 people with suspected ties to the Sinaloa Cartel’s fentanyl network, as well as a company accused of importing chemicals from China.
“This represents a blow to [the cartel’s] financial operations and illicit activities, since the company receives chemical shipments from China,” Salazar said in a statement.
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