A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Tuesday demanded that the United States revoke its offer of a reward for the arrest of a Chinese national on the grounds of cross-border drug trafficking.
Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a daily press briefing that the relevant case has been jointly investigated and handled by the two countries since 2016. Based on limited information provided by the United States, China has done a great deal of work and confirmed the Chinese national's identity, and shared this information with the U.S. side, he said.
The type of substance involved in the case was considered an ordinary chemical in China, not a scheduled drug, Wang said, adding that China has repeatedly demanded that the U.S. side provide evidence that the Chinese citizen had violated Chinese laws, but the U.S. side has so far failed to offer any.
He said China holds the view that the identification of cross-border drug traffickers must be based on facts and evidence. After three years, the U.S. side is offering another reward for the citizen's arrest, knowing that it is hardly achievable.
"This will severely undermine the foundation of China-U.S. counter-narcotics cooperation and will create obstacles for China-U.S. cooperation going forward. Any subsequent consequence of this should be borne by the U.S. side," Wang said.
China attaches great importance to China-U.S. counter-narcotics cooperation and pays particular attention to the opioid overdose crisis in the United States, Wang said. On May 1, 2019, China took the lead in announcing the scheduling of fentanyl-related substances on humanitarian grounds, when its domestic fentanyl problem was not prominent, and actively helped the United States address the opioid crisis.
The spokesperson said the United States has expressed gratitude to China through multiple channels, believing that counter-narcotics cooperation is a key point and highlight in China-U.S. law-enforcement cooperation.
"China urges the United States to respect facts, immediately revoke the public reward for the arrest of the Chinese national, and stop any smear and attack on China, so as to create a positive environment for bilateral-law enforcement cooperation," said Wang.