DEA Working with China to Combat Global Synthetic Drug Trafficking

Chuck Rosenberg, DEA Administrator
Chuck Rosenberg, DEA Administrator

At the invitation of the China Ministry of Public Security (MPS), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg visited China this week to discuss issues of mutual concern and to build on DEA’s existing relationship with Chinese counter-narcotics law enforcement authorities.  

Rosenberg emphasized the increased cooperation between the DEA and the MPS and recognized China’s actions toward combating global synthetic drug trafficking and illicit money laundering. 

He also met with drug control officials in Hong Kong and Bangkok, Thailand. 

“This week’s meetings with China’s Ministry of Public Security reinforced the commitment between our agencies to address the synthetic drug crisis which affects our nation,” stated Rosenberg.  

“These meetings underscore our improving relationship and cooperative efforts as we work to stem the flow of dangerous synthetic opioids and related chemicals.  I appreciate the good work they are doing in China to help us address our opioid epidemic.”

Law enforcement nationwide report higher fentanyl availability, seizures, and known overdose deaths than at any other time since the drug’s creation in 1959.
Law enforcement nationwide report higher fentanyl availability, seizures, and known overdose deaths than at any other time since the drug’s creation in 1959.

Rosenberg recognized China’s sustained efforts in combating the fentanyl/NPS epidemic in the United States and affirmed that the DEA-MPS relationship is growing stronger.

Rosenberg also met with U.S. Ambassador Max Baucus and Deputy Chief of Mission David Rank.

In Guangzhou, Rosenberg met with Guangdong Public Security Department (PSD) Deputy Director General Guo Shaobo and NCB Director General Deng Jianwei. 

The meetings between DEA and Chinese officials demonstrate the dedication and our commitment to work together and further our counter-narcotics, precursor chemical control, and anti-money laundering efforts in China.

The visit follows previous high-level meetings between DEA and Chinese officials, both in the United States and China.  

DEA Administrator Rosenberg concludes PRC, Hong Kong, Thailand trip. Discussing issues of synthetic drugs, money laundering, cooperation and more. (Image Credit: DEA)
DEA Administrator Rosenberg concludes PRC, Hong Kong, Thailand trip. Discussing issues of synthetic drugs, money laundering, cooperation and more. (Image Credit: DEA)

In September 2016, Rosenberg met former NCB Director General Hu Minglang at DEA Headquarters during the annual Bilateral Drug Intelligence Working Group (BDIWG). 

The BDIWG is held to discuss ways to improve and enhance U.S.-China joint drug investigations.  In August 2016, a senior level DEA delegation traveled to China to participate in a “DEA Executive Leadership Forum”.   

Within the last six months, the NCB has sent delegations to meet with DEA investigators in Milwaukee, Boston, and at the Special Operations Division to coordinate and advance bilateral fentanyl and New Psychoactive Substance investigations. 

DEA maintains an office in Beijing and hopes to expand its presence in China by opening an office in Guangzhou, adding two DEA Special Agents. DEA will continue to collaborate with China on counter-narcotic issues and the evolving threat from synthetic drugs. 

On October 1, 2015, China took an important step in international coordination by controlling a list of 116 synthetic drugs that were widely abused in the U.S.  The control in China has contributed to the decline of incidents related to the substances placed under Chinese control.  

DEA Fentanyl

China also made it possible for the MPS to control other synthetic drugs, which have no known medicinal use.  When evaluating a substance for control, the new provision also allows China to consider harm to the public in countries other than China.

DEA continues to share information with Chinese officials to secure scheduling of additional fentanyl-class substances in China due to the wave of recent deaths in the United States from these synthetic opioids. 

In Hong Kong, Rosenberg met with counterparts at the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department, the Hong Kong Department of Justice, and Hong Kong Police Force, including their Narcotics Bureau.

He also met with the Consul General, Deputy Consul General and law enforcement colleagues at the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong.

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Rosenberg discussed continued cooperation and intelligence sharing to combat fentanyl and New Psychoactive Substances from the Far East to the U.S.  Officials also discussed international training on fentanyl safety handling, law enforcement techniques, and airport interdiction.

In Bangkok, Rosenberg met with Royal Thai Police Deputy Commissioner General Chaloemkiat Seeworakhan and discussed continued mutual cooperation and the International Law Enforcement Academy.  He also met with Deputy Chief of Mission Peter Haymond.