U.S. and China Resurrect Anti-Narcotics Talks Following Breakthrough in Joint Operation


BEIJING, June 20 (Reuters) – The United States and China are poised to engage in high-level discussions on anti-narcotics cooperation this Thursday, buoyed by recent collaborative strides that included a significant crackdown on a major drug-linked money laundering scheme.

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Earlier this year, both nations reinitiated talks on bolstering their efforts in counter-narcotics and law enforcement. China’s public security department hailed the recent case as a landmark example of successful bilateral anti-drug collaboration between the global superpowers.

According to the U.S. Justice Department, the Sinaloa Cartel from Mexico allegedly conspired with entities based in California linked to Chinese underground banking to launder over $50 million in drug-trafficking proceeds. The investigation, which also involved Mexican law enforcement, culminated in the apprehension of suspects by Chinese authorities, uncovering additional illicit activities, including unauthorized foreign exchange transactions.

The resurgence in discussions underscores Washington’s urgent drive to deepen cooperation, particularly in combatting the surge in fentanyl-related deaths. The White House’s Rahul Gupta was slated to meet senior Chinese officials to further these efforts on Thursday, as reported by Chinese state media.

Tensions between the U.S. and China over various contentious issues have strained bilateral relations in recent years, complicating efforts to secure cooperation on narcotics control. However, a thaw in relations following the Biden-Xi summit last November reignited hopes for renewed collaboration, marking a revival in anti-narcotics dialogue.

Yu Haibin, deputy secretary general of China’s National Narcotics Control Commission, reiterated China’s commitment to supporting joint efforts with the U.S., emphasizing intelligence sharing, law enforcement cooperation, and combating transnational crime as pivotal areas of collaboration.

As joint investigations proceed, both nations anticipate significant strides in deterring drug-related activities, underscoring the potential for impactful cooperation amidst broader geopolitical challenges.

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