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The United States Prepares Sanctions Against Beijing Over Allegations of Synthetic Drug Production

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Photo: Senator Chuck Schumer advocates against fentanyl while Senators Tom Cotton, Sherrod Brown, and Jeanne Shaheen listen during a press conference at the US Capitol on April 4, 2019, in Washington, D.C. Source: ABCNews
Photo: Senator Chuck Schumer advocates against fentanyl while Senators Tom Cotton, Sherrod Brown, and Jeanne Shaheen listen during a press conference at the US Capitol on April 4, 2019, in Washington, D.C. Source: ABCNews

Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Majority Leader in the US Senate, announced on July 16th that he will insist on including a bipartisan amendment for sanctions against China in the upcoming defense policy bill due to its alleged involvement in the production of the synthetic opioid fentanyl.

Senator Chuck Schumer accused China of being responsible for a large portion of fentanyl production, which the US authorities believe is causing the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans due to overdoses. The influential senator stated that the drug is coming from production sites in China "with the full knowledge and silent consent of the Chinese government." This is a strong accusation, backed by a significant initiative.

"I will introduce an amendment - a bipartisan one - to the defense bill that will include legislation to curb fentanyl and impose sanctions, and we will bring this bill for consideration this week," Schumer said at a press conference in New York on Sunday, July 16th.

"I hope it will pass. I believe it will receive strong support from both parties. And it should. It must." The Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. was not available for comment, as reported by Reuters.

Previously, Beijing accused Washington of using the fentanyl crisis as an excuse to impose sanctions on Chinese companies and proposed cooperation with other countries to address drug problems. Chinese state media have repeatedly described drug addiction and demand as internal issues of the United States.

It is worth noting that Chuck Schumer has been fighting against fentanyl supply, as he claims from the People's Republic of China, for several years. For instance, during the Donald Trump administration, in April 2019, Senator Schumer, then the Democratic Minority Leader in the Senate, also sought to introduce relevant sanctions and measures against the spread of fentanyl in the US(see Photo).

On July 18, the Senate, where Democrats hold the majority, plans to begin discussions on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2024 fiscal year. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed its own version of the NDAA bill on July 14th.

It is expected that the Senate will pass its version of the NDAA in July, after which the two chambers will reconcile and vote on a compromise bill later this year.

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