China, US work 'extremely well' on drug issues: official

Updated: 2016-03-09 11:16

By Amy He in New York(China Daily USA)

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China and the US collaborate well on matters of drug and narcotics enforcement, said William Brownfield, US assistant secretary of state for international narcotics and law enforcement.

"I actually believe on matters of narcotics and drugs, the US and China cooperate extremely well," he said on Tuesday. "The areas of disagreement are overwhelmed by the areas in which we work together and cooperate well."

Brownfield discussed China-US cooperation on drug policy during a briefing with foreign media while in New York to hold bilateral meetings with United Nations member states.

He spoke ahead of a UN General Assembly special session on drugs to be held next month, the first such session in almost two decades.

Since the establishment of the Joint Liaison Group on Law Enforcement in 1998, the two countries have worked together to address drug policy as it relates to each nation's pharmaceutical industry and on issues of hard drugs, Brownfield said.

China, US work 'extremely well' on drug issues: official

"Unlike certain other elements of the bilateral relationship, the [Joint Liaison Group] on law enforcement works well because for the most part, we have successfully pulled politics out of most of the discussion. We try to get to 'yes' on any issue that is important to the other, and if for some reason we cannot get to yes, we explain clearly what the issues are," he said.

Due to the large size of each country's pharmaceutical industry, drug companies are coming out with new products faster than governing bodies can approve of them, Brownfield added.

The US and China have been able to agree on when to schedule new psychoactive drugs, he said.

Brownfield also mentioned that the countries have addressed issues of heroin addiction. The addition of fentanyl in heroin has contributed to an addiction crisis in certain US communities, he said. While the Chinese government has not had to deal with a similar problem, the country is "not immune to the abuse of heroin," particularly in large cities, he .

The two countries also are tackling the issue of heroin production in Afghanistan, with which China shares a small section of border. Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of heroin and makes about 85 percent of the world's drug.