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Washington's drug slur on Beijing slammed

By ZHOU JIN | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-09-18 23:13

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning [Photo/fmprc.gov.cn/]

Beijing expressed on Monday its strong opposition to Washington smearing China as a "major source country" for drugs, saying that China has implemented the strictest drug control policy and its efforts are widely recognized by the international community.

In a White House memorandum issued on Friday, United States President Joe Biden identified a number of countries, including China, as major drug transit or major illicit drug producing nations.

China has made serious demarches to the US over the identification, which has no basis in facts, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said at a daily news briefing.

The Chinese government attaches great importance to fighting drugs, Mao said. To date, China has scheduled 456 anesthetic and psychotropic drugs and two entire classes of substances, she said, adding that the country has also listed 38 types of controlled precursor chemicals, surpassing the 14 varieties regulated by the United Nations.

According to Mao, China is among the countries that have scheduled the largest number of substances and exercise the strictest control on drugs.

In contrast, the US — with 5 percent of the world's population — consumes 80 percent of the opioid produced in the world, which makes it a black hole and source of problem for global drug control, she said.

The US is the single largest major drug demand country and is in no position to point its finger at China's counter-narcotics efforts, she said. "The incompetence and ineffective control is the true cause of the pervasive drug problem in the US, and the fundamental solution is to reduce domestic demand," she added.

Mao urged Washington to stop attacking and smearing China, and "do things in ways that are conducive to cooperation with China, not otherwise".

Also on Monday, the Foreign Ministry blasted a New York Times report that blamed China for sowing discord in the US by spreading disinformation about the wildfires in Hawaii.

The report said that China used artificial intelligence technology to generate posts claiming that the wildfires were the result of a secret "weather weapon" being tested by the US.

This report is not factual at all, Mao said, emphasizing that the theory about a "weather weapon" came from the US media first.

"Some Chinese media outlets and we-media accounts did nothing more than citing or re-posting those reports. ... If anyone was making up or spreading disinformation, it would be The New York Times, not them," she said.

After the devastating wildfires broke out in Hawaii, China immediately extended sympathies and expressed readiness to provide help as needed, Mao said.

"We urge relevant US media outlet to be truthful, objective and neutral in its reporting, and stop spreading disinformation against China," she added.

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