Trump on Wednesday called the designation ‘one of the very exciting things’ to come out of his meeting with Chinese President Hsi Jinping in Buenos Aires. Over the weekend the White House called it ‘a wonderful humanitarian gesture’ by China.
But as an Associated Press fact check revealed, China has already put 25 varieties on its list of controlled substances.
‘China has decided to list all the fentanyl-like substances as controlled substances and start working to adjust related regulations,’ China’s foreign ministry said.
‘One of the very exciting things to come out of my meeting with President Xi of China is his promise to me to criminalize the sale of deadly Fentanyl coming into the United States,’ said President Trump.
Trump made no mention of variants of fentanyl in his tweet.
A more sweeping ban on substances similar to fentanyl could have an impact, but it is unclear the extent to which China will follow through.
‘One of the very exciting things to come out of my meeting with President Xi of China is his promise to me to criminalize the sale of deadly Fentanyl coming into the United States. It will now be considered a ‘controlled substance.’ This could be a game changer on what is… considered to be the worst and most dangerous, addictive and deadly substance of them all,’ the president wrote in a pair of tweets.
‘Last year over 77,000 people died from Fentanyl,’ he continued. ‘If China cracks down on this ‘horror drug,’ using the Death Penalty for distributors and pushers, the results will be incredible!’
In September 2016, China agreed under President Obama to ‘enhanced measures’ on fentanyl, but didn’t announce specifics at the time, the New York Times reported.
In China people convicted of trafficking in controlled substances are subject to the death penalty.
Trump’s tweets were preceded by another where he said he believed Xi ‘meant every word’ in their agreement, which produced no written text on trade gestures, leading to a build-up and then selloff in financial markets.
‘Very strong signals being sent by China once they returned home from their long trip, including stops, from Argentina. Not to sound naive or anything, but I believe President Xi meant every word of what he said at our long and hopefully historic meeting. ALL subjects discussed!’ Trump wrote.