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China’s fentanyl war against the West


Their bodies lie strewn on the sidewalks or frozen into awkward pretzel shapes.  Those still mobile meander aimlessly in what has become known as the Zombie walk.  They are all still breathing — for the moment — but many will eventually succumb to the drug that put them in this state.

The most dangerous illicit drug ever concocted, fentanyl, has turned entire blocks of America’s major cities into the 21st-century equivalent of open-air opium dens — or war zones. 

In San Francisco, successful dealers now make more than senior Google software engineers for peddling their poison pills. In fact, the drug trade in the Tenderloin and South of Market neighborhoods has gotten so bad that federal employees are being told to work from home because it’s no longer safe to navigate downtown streets.

Welcome to the front lines of the Third Opium War, where the number of those Killed in Action totaled 109,000 in 2022 — and is growing.


The quest for profit and global domination fuel China's leading role in a fentanyl circuit connecting Mexican drug cartels with dealers and consumers in the United States.
The quest for profit and global domination fuel China’s leading role in a fentanyl circuit connecting Mexican drug cartels with dealers and consumers in the United States.
Getty Images

Ask who’s responsible for this carnage, and most people will point to the Mexican drug cartels who smuggle fentanyl across the border, along with the drug dealers who distribute and sell it.  Others refer to the porous border, or the failure of Democratic-run cities to police the problem. 

But one major player — without whom the entire deadly edifice would collapse — generally goes unmentioned by the public.


A scene from 1842 during the first Opium War between China and Britain. Such battles more than 150 years ago were about control over trade, finance and sovereignty — much like China's influence over the global fentanyl trade today.
A scene from 1842 during the first Opium War between China and Britain. Such battles more than 150 years ago were about control over trade, finance and sovereignty — much like China’s influence over the global fentanyl trade today.
Wikipedia

Without shipments of the chemical precursors to fentanyl the production of the opiate in cartel-run labs would grind to a halt. And without the ability to launder billions of dollars, the cartels would be drowning in hard-to-hide cash, their money neither portable nor investable.

And, as it turns out, both the pharmaceutical factories and the money-laundering operations are run by China.  And it’s not difficult to understand why.

Profit — as always where corrupt Communists officials are concerned — is part of the answer.  But there is a larger agenda at play here as well.  

There are no private companies in China. Despite pro forma denials, Communist Party leaders know exactly which pharmaceutical companies in China are producing and shipping the chemicals needed to make fentanyl. So much so that the US Justice Department filed suit against four such companies in June on charges of drug trafficking and money laundering.  


Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) recently noted, “The fentanyl crisis begins and ends in China.”  
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) recently noted, “The fentanyl crisis begins and ends in China.”  
AP

Fentanyl and the chemicals needed to produce it are not allowed to be sold in China, which smugly claims that the drug “does not constitute a prominent problem in China, with no report on . . . any death caused thereby.” Don’t buy it. 

China knows exactly which Mexican cartels are on the receiving end of their goods, and who they are laundering the resulting profits for. They could cut off the cartels in less time than it takes for fentanyl to stop a beating heart, if they wanted to.  

They don’t, for reasons both past and future.

The current rulers of China are engaged in a Third Opium War, a long-overdue revenge for the First and Second Opium Wars (1839 and 1860), in which British warships attacked Chinese ports and demanded at gunpoint that the tottering Qing dynasty allow the sale of opium.


A map detailing drug cartel activity between the US, Mexico and Caribbean.
A map detailing drug cartel activity between the US, Mexico and Caribbean.
Natan Dvir

Now it’s our turn, Beijing seems to be saying.

But China is looking towards the future as well, a future in which China replaces the United States as the dominant power in Asia by 2035, and the dominant power on the planet by 2049. 

But while China may not be firing real bullets as us, their attacks are already drawing blood, and none more so than their covert collaboration with the cartels.

Just as the CCP provided arms, ammunition, and funding to Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge, which wound up killing millions during its short but bloody reign, so the CCP is providing “ammunition and funding” to the Mexican cartels.

The “ammunition” comes in the form of fentanyl precursors—those raw ingredients that, in a simple, one-step process, can be converted into deadly fentanyl in labs in Northern Mexico. These precursors, banned by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, are norfentanyl, benzylfentanyl and 4-anilinopiperidine. 


The deadly detritus from the open-air drug den that has become downtown San Francisco.
The deadly detritus from the open-air drug den that has become downtown San Francisco.
AP

The pallets of these chemicals shipped to cartel labs might as well be cluster bombs.  They have resulted in hundreds of thousands of casualties across the US without a single shot being fired. 

At the same time, China channels the cartel profits back into legitimate enterprises while keeping a healthy share of the dark money that passes through its hands for itself.

In short, Beijing is using the drug cartels to wage a kind of proxy war against the United States and its citizens.  And as American casualties mount, so do China’s profits.

There are many things the Biden administration could do to slow down the traffic in fentanyl.  They could finish the wall and secure the border.  They could impose the death sentence on drug traffickers.  

But the most effective action by far would be to realize, as Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) recently noted, “The fentanyl crisis begins and ends in China.”  

Impose punitive tariffs on China until it ends its narco-aggression against the United States.  Without fentanyl precursors and funding, the production of the deadly drug would grind to a halt.


Much as China armed Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge in the 1970s, it's now providing “ammunition and funding” to Mexican drug cartels.
Much as China armed Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge in the 1970s, it’s now providing “ammunition and funding” to Mexican drug cartels.
Bettmann Archive

But expecting Biden to get tough on one of his family’s paymasters would probably just elicit another beachfront “No comment.” 

Whether it’s Maui or the mean streets of New York, the occasional occupant of the Oval Office appears remarkably unconcerned about the deaths of his fellow Americans.

Steven W. Mosher is the president of the Population Research Institute and the author of “Bully of Asia” and “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Pandemics.”



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