Trump claims wrong drug concession from China

Staff Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — U.S. President Donald Trump is claiming victory in getting China to designate fentanyl a controlled substance, but China took that step against the deadly opioid years ago.
What’s actually on the table is a far more sweeping shift in the way China regulates synthetic opioids. The question is how China will follow through on its words.
China’s stated intention is to expand controls on all varieties of drugs that mimic fentanyl, a step advocated by U.S. officials eager to end the game of regulatory whack-a-mole with chemists who can manufacture novel opioids faster than they can be banned.
TRUMP, about his meeting at the G-20 summit in Argentina with Chinese President Xi Jinping: “What he will be doing to fentanyl could be a game changer for the United States — and what fentanyl is doing to our country in terms of killing people. Because he’s agreed to put it at the highest level of crime in his country.” — aboard Air Force One on Saturday.
WHITE HOUSE: “Very importantly, President Xi, in a wonderful humanitarian gesture, has agreed to designate Fentanyl as a Controlled Substance, meaning that people selling Fentanyl to the United States will be subject to China’s maximum penalty under the law.” — statement Saturday.
THE FACTS: That’s a misreading of what China agreed to do, at least as far as Chinese authorities are concerned.
Fentanyl has been a controlled substance in China for years, according to Chinese regulators . All told, China has already put 25 variants of fentanyl, plus two precursors — chemicals used to make the drug — on its list of controlled substances, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said last week.
Now, “China has decided to list all the fentanyl-like substances as controlled substances and start working to adjust related regulations,” says China’s foreign ministry ...To read more, please refer to our print or online edition.

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