No rest until sweeping victory against drugs, President Xi says
Updated: 2015-06-26 07:04
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang shake hands with groups and individuals who were honored for their outstanding contributions to the country's antidrug cause in Beijing, June 25, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]
BEIJING - Chinese President Xi Jinping called for more comprehensive and coordinated efforts to combat drugs, vowing that there would be "no rest until a sweeping victory".
Xi made the remarks Thursday when meeting groups and individuals who were being honored for their outstanding contributions to the antidrug cause, ahead of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, which falls on Friday.
During the meeting, Xi expressed respect and thanks to police, workers and volunteers.
Premier Li Keqiang also attended the meeting.
"Drugs are a menace for society and a significant issue concerning public security. They severely harm health, corrupt will, destroy families, consume wealth, poison society, pollute the social environment, and lead to other crimes," Xi said, underlining that there was a "very arduous" task ahead.
"The antidrug work concerns security, prosperity and people's well-being, and a firm opposition to drugs is the routine standpoint of the Party and the government," Xi said, urging all departments to tackle the problem and carry out more effective and resolute measures.
Xi said the Communist Party of China (CPC) was confident that it could effectively win the fight against drugs, while underscoring that the campaign mattered to the nation's great rejuvenation.
He said the fight required a steadfast mind and solid work and called on all Party and governmental authorities at all levels to strengthen their work in this regard.
Also, he called on members of society to support the work.
Antidrug awareness should be promoted among people from a younger age, and the education and prevention of drug-related offenses should also be given greater attention, Xi said, calling for efforts to promote healthy lifestyles.
A total of 100 model groups, and 100 model individuals received awards for their excellent work.
Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun attended the ceremony and outstanding police officers and volunteers gave speeches at the event.
Related: One in 100 Chinese may have used narcotics: report
China had 2.95 million registered drug addicts at the end of 2014, but the real number who have used narcotics is thought to exceed 14 million, the Ministry of Public Security said on Wednesday.
That means one out of 100 Chinese may have used drugs, said Liu Yuejin, assistant minister of public security.
The direct economic losses caused by drug use in the entire country have hit 500 billion yuan ($80.54 billion) annually, Liu said.
Although the spread of traditional drugs such as heroine has been largely curbed, the number of identified synthetic drug addicts has risen sharply to 1.46 million, six times the number in 2008.
Drug users are becoming younger, according to the ministry. Among the 480,000 newly identified drug users in 2014, 29,000 were under the age of 18 and around three quarters were under the age of 35.
In the past, drug users were mostly the unemployed, farmers, private business owners and migrant workers. Now the demographic is expanding to include significant numbers of employees of public institutions, freelancers and entertainers, said Liu.