A potential agreement with China may involve a focused effort to curb the influx of fentanyl into the U.S., albeit at the expense of overlooking human rights abuses.
The meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, set to occur Wednesday and scheduled alongside the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, might offer the White House an opportunity to showcase a triumph in addressing the opioid epidemic.
Prior to the meeting, Bloomberg released a report saying China would target chemical companies to disrupt the supply chain of both fentanyl and the raw materials essential for producing this lethal synthetic opioid. The sources for the information opted for anonymity to openly discuss the details of the agreement.
The report additionally outlined Xi’s objectives in suppressing what could be characterized as a form of chemical warfare, specifically seeking approval for the purported ongoing suppression of the Uyghur ethnic group in China.
In a conversation with reporters on Monday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated, “I won’t get too far ahead of the meeting, and I’ll let the president speak for himself after he has the chance to meet with President Xi, but we believe that there are areas where our interests overlap, like our efforts to combat the illicit fentanyl trade.”
Before the summit, homeless camps in the vicinity were removed, depriving observers of a firsthand view of the widespread devastation occurring across the United States.
Gov. Newsom orders homeless camps removed in San Francisco in an obvious attempt to impress his new best friend, China's Communist dictator. Pity he’s had no desire to impress those who actually live in California. https://t.co/d3MhdKjFt5
— Senator Melissa Melendez (@senatormelendez) November 14, 2023
According to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 150 individuals in the United States die daily from overdoses linked to synthetic drugs such as fentanyl.
Furthermore, the National Center for Health Statistics reported a staggering more than sevenfold increase in these overdoses from 2015 to 2021. This resulted in 70,601 fatalities in 2021, constituting over 65% of the total 106,699 drug overdose deaths recorded for that year.
Sullivan told reporters, “All in all, we’re looking forward to a productive meeting. President Biden has a long history with President Xi, and their conversations are direct, they’re straightforward and President Biden believes there is no substitute for leader-to-leader, face-to-face diplomacy to manage this complex relationship.”
Derek Scissors, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, offered a less optimistic perspective on the bilateral meeting. He remarked, “China’s agreements come with an unstated condition – null and void if you criticize Xi and the Communist Party. If the Biden administration isn’t pro-China in 2024, the enforcement of a fentanyl deal will likely diminish.”