How involved is China in feeding the USA’s fentanyl epidemic? Past and present? China Rising Radio Sinoland 230929



By Jeff J. Brown

Pictured above: the needle and the damage done.

Sixteen years on the streets, living and working with the people of China, Jeff

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Note before starting: I found this in my drafts and as the drug epidemic continues to rage on in the West, especially the USA, it is very relevant to today’s tragedies.


From Godfree Roberts (,

Fentanyl has nothing to do with China and everything to do with America which, with five percent of the world’s population, consumes eighty percent of its opioids. Of 229 trafficking cases–in which 537kg of fentanyl-related substances were seized between last October and March–only seventeen seizures, weighing 6kg, originated in China.  The US Department of Justice says, “China has made great strides and the Department is encouraged by China’s recent class-wide controls of fentanyl-like substances.” Americans consume opioids because of bribery, weak regulation, poor enforcement, over-prescription, and endemic social despair. There’s not much China can do about that.

Heroin’s Hidden Ingredient Is a Chemical Made by U.S. Companies

A $324 jug of acetic anhydride, made in Mexico by a publicly traded American company, is enough to produce 90,000 hits of high-grade “China white.” The cartels are getting as much as they want, and also using it to cook meth. Making their way down a narrow country road in the Mexican state of Sinaloa one morning in May 2019, members of a counter-narcotics squad were struck by a strong chemical smell. They pulled over, and a small reconnaissance team climbed out of their vehicles, then stalked down a trail. Behind a thicket of trees, tucked in a clearing, they found an open-air drug factory—not a huge surprise in Sinaloa, the capital of the global narcotics empire built by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. Five cauldrons for cooking heroin stood exposed to the sky, flaked with rust. In the camp’s makeshift living quarters, bags of tortilla chips and a cooler of unopened Pepsis suggested the cooks had left in haste.

The soldiers discovered the source of the smell: acetic anhydride, a clear liquid that reeks like vinegar. Except for the sap drained from opium flowers, it’s the only thing truly required to make heroin, and it doesn’t take much of the stuff to do the job. Soldiers found some inside four 18-liter jugs that, when full, could have produced 80 pounds of high-quality “China white,” with a street value in the U.S. of at least $3.6 million.

Acetic anhydride has legal uses in laboratories and factories—the most common use is in the production of cigarette filters. But under international drug laws it’s one of the most strictly controlled “precursor and essential chemicals” for the production of illegal narcotics. For 30 years the U.S. government has aggressively pushed almost every nation in the world to sign on to global treaties and pass domestic laws to keep potential drugmaking chemicals away from narcotics syndicates. Acetic anhydride was placed in the highest category of control in 2001. Yet the acetic anhydride seized that morning in Sinaloa was bottled, branded, and sold in Mexico by a $12.3 billion publicly traded U.S. company, Avantor Inc.



Do yourself, your friends, family and colleagues a favor, to make sure all of you are Sino-smart: 

Google ebooks (Epub) and audiobooks:

44 Days Backpacking in China: The Middle Kingdom in the 21st Century, with the United States, Europe and the Fate of the World in Its Looking Glass

China Rising: Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations

BIG Red Book on China: Chinese History, Culture and Revolution

Amazon print and ebooks (Kindle):

44 Days Backpacking in China: The Middle Kingdom in the 21st Century, with the United States, Europe and the Fate of the World in Its Looking Glass

China Rising: Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations

BIG Red Book on China: Chinese History, Culture and Revolution

Author page:

Praise for The China Trilogy:


Why and How China works: With a Mirror to Our Own History



JEFF J. BROWN, Editor, China Rising, and Senior Editor & China Correspondent, Dispatch from Beijing, The Greanville Post

Jeff J. Brown is a geopolitical analyst, journalist, lecturer and the author of The China Trilogy. It consists of 44 Days Backpacking in China – The Middle Kingdom in the 21st Century, with the United States, Europe and the Fate of the World in Its Looking Glass (2013); Punto Press released China Rising – Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations (2016); and BIG Red Book on China (2020). As well, he published a textbook, Doctor WriteRead’s Treasure Trove to Great English (2015). Jeff is a Senior Editor & China Correspondent for The Greanville Post, where he keeps a column, Dispatch from Beijing and is a Global Opinion Leader at 21st Century. He also writes a column for The Saker, called the Moscow-Beijing Express. Jeff writes, interviews and podcasts on his own program, China Rising Radio Sinoland, which is also available on YouTubeStitcher Radio, iTunes, Ivoox and RUvid. Guests have included Ramsey Clark, James Bradley, Moti Nissani, Godfree Roberts, Hiroyuki Hamada, The Saker and many others. [/su_spoiler]

Jeff can be reached at China Rising, je**@br***********.com, Facebook, Twitter, Wechat (+86-19806711824/Mr_Professor_Brown, and Line/Signal/Telegram/Whatsapp: +33-612458821.

Read it in your language • Lealo en su idioma • Lisez-le dans votre langue • Lies es in deniner Sprache • Прочитайте это на вашем языке • 用你的语言阅读



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