After two army generals of the Chinese regime published their unrestricted war project in 1999 to obtain world supremacy for the Chinese regime, strategies in that direction have been observed.
While it is not certain that Beijing is sponsoring the flood of addictive drugs, the fact is that a large wave of them is flowing from China to the rest of the world.
For some observers, this would be an application of the dangerous strategy, which takes the form of a “Silent War”.
In 1999, Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) colonels Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui spoke of developing “strategies” for fighting a modern war during the tenure of CCP leader Jiang Zemin.
Among their indications it is highlighted: “The first rule of unrestricted warfare is that there are no rules, and nothing is forbidden”, turning “enemy” societies into battlefields.
For its part, the U.S. government has sounded the alarm in the face of this phenomenon, seeking protection against possible threats to the stability of its society, according to Fox News, former DEA special agent Derek Maltz, said:
“As part of the CCP’s unrestricted warfare model, they have progressed significantly against America with their enhanced role in the drug business,” Maltz noted, adding, “They can make billions and, at the same time, undermine the security of America.”
Maltz also explained, “A kilogram of fentanyl can kill 500,000 people, so the administration should look at the death rates and treat this as a serious national security threat as opposed to only a public health crisis.”
The impact of addictive drugs in the U.S.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), synthetic opioids – primarily fentanyl – are the leading cause of overdose deaths in the United States.
It is worth clarifying that fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid approved by the FDA for pain relief, and as an anesthetic. It is about 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin.
Fentanyl arrives in this country sent by Chinese suppliers as express shipment, through companies such as UPS, FedEx or DHL. It is also smuggled from Mexico, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission reported last year.
It added that criminals in Mexico produce the dangerous drug using raw materials mainly from China.
Thus, Chinese drug cartels, led from Shanghai, enrich themselves by causing thousands of deaths annually in the United States with these products.
The most terrible of these cartels is that of the traffickers called Los Zhengs.
One of their kingpins, Fujing Zheng, 37, who operated under the alias Gordon Jin, and his father Guanghua Zheng, 64, were indicted for their crimes in the United States in 2018, along with two other accomplices.
Their crimes include: “Conspiracy to manufacture and distribute controlled substances, conspiracy to import controlled substances into the United States, operating a continued criminal enterprise, money laundering, and other crimes.”
Likewise, U.S. Department of the Treasury (DOT) Assistant Secretary Justin G. Muzinich addressed fentanyl, stating, “Fentanyl and other drugs have caused overwhelming devastation to communities across America,” according to the DOT website.
“The United States is committed to holding drug traffickers and those who facilitate their operations accountable for the suffering they impose upon American families,” Muzinich reiterated.
He also reported that the Los Zheng cartel’s operation extends to at least 37 U.S. states, and 25 other countries. The Zheng Cartel is suspected of having ties to Mexican cartels in the states of Sinaloa and Jalisco.
The Zhengs have created an extensive drug trafficking network in China, Mexico and the U.S. According to the DEA, some 2,000 Chinese nationals work to facilitate and coordinate the importation of fentanyl precursor chemicals. They are primarily based in Culiacán, the capital of Sinaloa state.
It is noteworthy that during 2021, illicit drug overdose deaths in the U.S. caused 103,512 victims, according to the report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the U.S. national public health agency (CDC).
However, the victims affected by the vice of drug addiction are many more. Statistics from 2017, reveal that in that year 2.1 million people were diagnosed with opioid use disorder, including fentanyl.
Likewise, CDC economists estimate that during that same year, the total cost of caring for people who use opioids and those who died from fatal overdoses in the United States exceeded $1 trillion.
Additionally, other estimates project that more than 1.2 million people could die from opioid overdoses in the United States and Canada through 2029, if the current trend of use is not interrupted.
A series of raids in the United States last year seized 1.8 million fake pills, noting an increase in the number of those containing fentanyl, according to a Drug Enforcement Administration report. That number of pills was enough to kill 700,000 people.
“The United States has never experienced such a rapid and unprecedented shift in illegal drug markets, especially a shift that is causing so much death,” the report said.
Chinese drug traffickers in Europe
Europe is another major market for illicit drugs distributed by Chinese traffickers.
In fact, in the Netherlands, authorities arrested the criminal known as “El Chapo of Asia,” Tse Chi Lop, in 2020.
The Netherlands tends to be called a “narco-state,” given its involvement with addictive drug trafficking. In 2020, 32 methamphetamine laboratories were destroyed in its territory.
Tse, is considered the leader “…of the Sam Gor “super” syndicate – an alliance of five Chinese triads that dominate Asia’s $70 billion annual meth market,” The Diplomat reported last year.
However, he was arrested in a case brought by the Australian Federal Police (AFP). The AFP linked Tse to a 2013 drug case, when a “dismantled a global crime syndicate operating in five countries,” according to the press release issued following his arrest.
The drug kingpin had long eluded police as he used to bribe high-ranking officials, including, apparently, Meng Hongwei, a Chinese former Interpol president.
Meng “disappeared” in China in 2018, but in 2020 he was sentenced to 13.5 years in prison for corruption. During the trial, he accepted having received $2 million in bribes between 2005 and 2017. Beijing never disclosed who had bribed Meng.
Tse was also linked to another drug trafficking investigation in Poland in 2019, along with the Macau triads. Vietnamese gangs are also heavily involved in methamphetamine production and trafficking across Central Europe.
A 2011 European Parliament report on Asian organized crime noted that Vietnamese gangs on the continent began as “subdivisions of Chinese criminal organizations.”
In addition, the same report implicated Chinese criminal groups as collaborating with Dutch groups in the Netherlands by supplying them with precursors for MDMA, or ecstasy, and methamphetamine.
A significant part of the laboratory equipment, raw materials and chemicals needed for the production of synthetic drugs comes from China.
This makes Dutch-Chinese transnational crime a relevant, but often overlooked, aspect of the synthetic drug supply chain.
Beijing’s ineffectiveness in dealing with drug trafficking
For his part, investigative journalist writing on culture and drugs, Ben Westhoff, testified before the Commission: “China’s clumsy, understaffed bureaucracy has a difficult time controlling the country’s chemical industry.”
He added: “China is merely seeking to create the appearance of cooperating with U.S. officials, while not enacting any reforms.” This context facilitates the operations of drug producers in the large eastern country.
It also gives rise to suspicions about the permissiveness of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in this case. This situation raises the possibility that it is part of the “unrestricted war” announced by Chinese Generals Qiao and Wang in 1999.
In this regard, retired DEA agent Jeffrey Higgins noted in 2018 that he believed that: “China simply seeks to create the appearance of cooperating with U.S. officials, while not enacting any reforms.”
This perception by Higgins is reiterated by other retired law enforcement personnel. In an interview with the online research project SpyTalk, former DEA agents expressed frustration with China’s lack of cooperation, despite the DEA’s efforts, according to the Economic Review Commission report, mentioned above.
US Rand Corporation drug policy expert, Bryce Pardo, describes Beijing’s regulatory capacity as “limited” and considers the possibility of corruption.
Pardo, states, “Gaps in regulatory design, the division of responsibility between provincial and central governments, and lack of oversight and government and corporate accountability, increase opportunities for corruption.”
In addition, the Chinese regime argues that the U.S. needs to do more to address its growing demand for illicit drugs, rather than just blaming Beijing.
On the other hand, Beijing’s ineffectiveness in stopping drug trafficking becomes even more controversial, given that some of its organizations facilitate these illegal activities, such as the so-called Triads.
The Triads are arms of the CCP’s United Front Work Department, created to co-opt or neutralize high-profile individuals and other targets abroad, and help cartels launder the money made from drug sales, according to author Victor Westerkamp.
The United Front system is a complex and opaque set of organizations that promote CCP influence in industry and civil society. Within the country they even deal with the repression of ethnic minorities in Tibet and Xinjiang. Abroad they monitor Chinese living in other countries, among other activities.
On the other hand, at least one hundred dealers have been identified who promote the sale of illicit drugs from Chinese territory. For example, Los Zhengs offer their addictive products in up to 35 languages. It should be noted that the CCP boasts one of the most powerful Internet censorship systems in the world.
Also, the chemical and pharmaceutical companies that produce the illicit synthetic drugs are mainly located in China, although the Chinese regime denies this. China is home to one of the largest pharmaceutical industries in the world.
Many entities selling synthetic opioids on the Internet are identifiable, and can often be linked to formally registered companies in China.
In addition, a 2020 investigation notes: “Chinese entities have been able to produce and export illicit synthetic drugs with relative freedom for several reasons. For instance, until recently, many chemicals required to synthesize fentanyl were unregulated in China, and were therefore legal to manufacture and sell.”
Although the Chinese regime banned “all fentanyl-like substances” in May 2019, it only changed the types of chemicals that were openly advertised on the Internet, and how those products were marketed
In addition, it did not catalog all precursor chemicals used to manufacture fentanyl in its ban, leaving an open door for continued crimes stemming from that failure.
The Center for Advanced Defense Studies (C4ADS) found that of 103 different Chinese entities advertising synthetic drugs on websites, more than 50% offered fentanyl along with other synthetic drugs.
Also that most of the drug suppliers analyzed were registered with corporate registries in mainland China and/or Hong Kong, and that many of these companies have links to larger corporate networks in China.
Similarly, these entities employed a complicated record-keeping system, which did not allow for clear identification of their ultimate owners.
However: “Interactions between buyers and sellers happen on a variety of clear web platforms, but are concentrated on e-commerce websites (e.g. Alibaba.com), online chemical marketplaces (e.g. ECHEMI.com), and social media,” including Facebook and Reddit, the C4ADS report states.
Addictive drug use in China
Classical Chinese tradition contemplates the concept of retribution to which individuals and institutions are held accountable for their actions, and it appears that the harm caused by addictive drugs originating in China is turned against their promoters, in compliance with this ancestral law.
In this sense, the abusive consumption of psychoactive substances that strongly affects the Chinese would be a form of retribution, or punishment from the gods.
There are an estimated 12 million regular users in China, and the illegal production of methamphetamine and ketamine is increasing in the country.
CCP leader Xi Jinping described illegal drugs, in 2016, as: “a menace for society [that] severely harm health, corrupt will, destroy families, consume wealth, poison society, pollute the social environment, and lead to other crimes.”
In this way, the Chinese regime severely represses drug addicts. “As the government enforces strict punishments, often in the name of rehabilitation, both human rights abuses and drug addiction rates are worsening,” notes author Josh Torrance.
In fact, the death penalty is the most severe of the sentences drug addicts are subjected to. Estimates indicate that thousands lose their lives in this way, or, at the very least, are subjected to perpetual slavery in concentration camps.
The exact number of those executed is unknown, as the CCP classifies it as a state secret.
Human Right Watch, however, estimated in 2012, that there were some 248 forced labor camps, holding around half a million people. “Inmates are routinely beaten, forced to recite slogans, sexually abused, and denied medical treatment or substitution therapy,” it reported.
Simultaneously, the harsh treatment drug addicts receive is not enough to mitigate the tendency to addiction. The extremely high recidivism rates point to an 860% increase in the number of people using new synthetic drugs. This would confirm the ruthlessness of the law of retribution.
Although the causes for people to take this path are multiple, among them are strong pressures in the family and social environment.
In this context, Beijing’s strong intervention in families and in the social sphere could be one of the triggers for the tendency of citizens to opt for drug addiction.
The restrictions suffered by Chinese inhabitants have been extreme for decades.
Here we will mention only the one that is impacting the people affected by the zero transmission pandemic policy the most.
It is estimated that at least 56 million people are suffering from deprivation of movement within their respective cities, and food shortages have driven many to suicide.
Many of them feel as if they are living in a prison, mainly in Shanghai and Beijing. In addition, the negative impact on the regional economy could extend into the future.
Dan Dan, one of Shanghai’s residents, called the CCP’s harsh restrictions brutal: “State sanctioned cruelty is staggering, [they] lock everyone in for months and then deny even basic necessities–politics and zero COVID trump all, even hunger,” he said.
The dissatisfaction of the inhabitants is such that it has led them to clashes with members of the security system, something unthinkable before, given the punishments imposed by the Chinese regime.
Moreover, the desperate protest of a young man forced into quarantine became emblematic. The young man replied to the policeman who threatened to punish even his descendants that his would be “the last generation.”
In addition to the harsh restrictions suffered by millions of people due to the zero tolerance policy to the pandemic, the problems faced by the nation are many more.
For some analysts, the heated political atmosphere within the only party that governs the destiny of the great eastern nation is also affecting the decisions made for it.
In any case, the various social experiments that the CCP has carried out with the millenary Chinese nation during the last decades, seem to be reaching the extreme.
It is not easy to determine how far the effects of retribution for the monumental mistakes the Chinese regime has made with the patient population it dominates will go.
However, the projections for the future look bleak and suggest a radical shift in the opposite direction.