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China vows to expand support for neighbors' drug fight

Updated: 2014-06-25 07:09
By Zhang Yan and Chen Mengwei ( China Daily)

China will boost financial and technical support to its neighbors to effectively combat drug smuggling, the Ministry of Public Security said.

"We are applying for specialized funds and will increase strategic investments in neighboring countries that have drug supplies and trafficking channels," said Liu Yuejin, director of the ministry's narcotics control department.

China borders two major international centers of opium and methamphetamine production - the Golden Triangle, the world's major drug-production area, which includes Myanmar, Laos and Thailand; and the Golden Crescent, which encompasses mountainous valleys of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Adjacent Chinese territories - Yunnan province and the Guangxi Zhuang and the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous regions - are the most drug-plagued areas in China, Liu said.

More than 100 metric tons of heroin and methamphetamine tablets from the Golden Triangle and 15 tons of heroin from the Golden Crescent were smuggled into Yunnan and Guangxi last year, the ministry said.

Those drugs were then sent to Guangdong province in the south by river and transported to other regions by airmail or express services, he said.

Continuous effort

In recent years, China has made a continuous effort to help neighboring countries curb rampant drug trafficking, said Yuan Wei, a senior officer from the ministry's narcotics control department.

China allocated 500 million yuan ($80.2 million) to Myanmar and Laos together with technical assistance last year for the two countries to develop plantations with substitute crops such as tea and bananas, she said.

The ministry said Myanmar and Laos have implemented more than 200 alternative projects, covering a plantation area of up to 121 hectares, which effectively reduced local peasants' dependence on opium production and cut drug smuggling to China.

Besides, China offered $500,000 to Laos to set up rehabilitation facilities and also provided Pakistan and Laos with anti-drug equipment and drug-sniffing dogs.

In addition, the ministry arranged for law enforcement trainings to anti-drug police from neighboring countries, including Myanmar, Laos, Pakistan and Vietnam, while carrying out drug-testing and identification technology exchanges with about 10 countries.

"Currently, drug sources are located overseas, and fighting drugs is an uphill battle," Liu said, adding that intensifying law enforcement cooperation with other countries is essential.

Liu said China will provide more support and training to anti-drug agencies in some neighboring countries with major drug suppliers to eliminate drug smuggling at the source.

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