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Is Communist China the World’s Deadliest Drug Cartel?

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The term “drug cartel” is typically reserved for illegal organizations dedicated to the production, distribution, and sale of drugs. Historically, infamous groups like the Sinaloa or Jalisco New Generation cartels have carried this label. However, a burgeoning narrative suggests that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) might be operating at a scale and lethality that surpasses these traditional cartels.

The CCP is accused of overseeing an expansive network responsible for producing and exporting significant amounts of fentanyl and its precursor chemicals. Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid far more potent than heroin, has been linked to a substantial increase in drug overdose deaths in the United States. Reports indicate that China is a primary source of illicit fentanyl and related substances, which find their way into the U.S. through various channels, including direct shipments and via third countries like Mexico.

Critics argue that the Chinese government facilitates this trade through a lack of regulation and oversight, coupled with alleged involvement in international money laundering operations that support the drug trade. For instance, Chinese traffickers are said to utilize the country’s banking system to launder proceeds from fentanyl sales in the U.S., leveraging financial networks that span across multiple countries.

Historically, drug cartels like Mexico’s Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation have been infamous for their ruthless operations and extensive drug trafficking networks. However, the scale of China’s involvement in the production and distribution of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 30 to 50 times stronger than heroin, suggests a new kind of threat—one that is state-enabled and global in reach. Reports suggest that China is the largest producer and exporter of illicit fentanyl and related substances to the United States, a distinction that underscores the severity of its actions. The synthetic drug fentanyl, once obscure, has now become a scourge across America, primarily due to its potency and the volume entering the U.S. from China.

The evidence of China’s role in this crisis is extensive and damning. Chinese traffickers have been documented channeling fentanyl to every county in America, utilizing both direct shipments and complex routes through third countries like Mexico and India. The origin of these drugs—either completed in China or created using Chinese precursor chemicals—points directly back to the CCP’s sphere of influence.

In terms of logistics and financial operations, Chinese traffickers exploit the nation’s banking system to launder money gained from fentanyl sales in the U.S. This use of state-controlled banks for international money laundering not only facilitates the drug trade but also implicates the government more directly in these illegal activities. One might consider the enormity of the crisis highlighted by the sheer number of drug deaths in the U.S., which now surpass 100,000 annually, with two-thirds attributable to fentanyl. This grim statistic is not just a public health emergency; it’s a direct assault on American communities.

Moreover, the strategy extends beyond merely flooding the U.S. market with fentanyl. Reports also indicate that Chinese traffickers have bought up numerous properties across the U.S. to convert them into high-potency marijuana grow houses. This operation links the drug trade to real estate and deeper infiltration into local economies, broadening both the scope and the impact of the criminal enterprise.

Political responses in the U.S. have varied widely. In some Republican-led states, authorities have taken vigorous action to track, arrest, and prosecute Chinese traffickers. Conversely, in other states and under various federal administrations, efforts have been criticized as insufficient, leaving the CCP’s drug trafficking network largely undisturbed. The lack of a unified and forceful response underscores the complexity and sensitivity of confronting a nation-state that operates as a major drug cartel.

This scenario mirrors a historical inversion of the 19th-century opium wars, where the British Empire devastated China through the opium trade. Today, it appears China may be using fentanyl as a geopolitical weapon in a similar manner, intending to destabilize American society through addiction and social discord.

China’s “quiet war” has many facets, their strategies are insidious and long term. This particular strategy weakens our younger generation. The label “drug cartel” fits the CCP to a tee.

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