With more than 10 metric tons of drugs flowing into China via the Sino-Vietnam border every year, the country will launch a three-year crackdown on drug production, smuggling and trafficking in its southwest region in 2015.
During the next three years, China will try to eliminate drug-related activities in the whole region and enhance suppression along the border, Chen Wu, chairman of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, announced at an anti-drug conference on Oct 31.
The move in Guangxi mirrors a new crackdown on drugs that began in 108 cities across China on Sept 27.
China faces severe challenges in fighting drug-related crimes, despite effective results achieved by international cooperation with Myanmar, Laos and Thailand, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement.
“A tough policy should always be adopted to crack down harshly on drug-related crimes,” said Minister of Public Security Guo Shengkun.
Guangxi, bordering with Vietnam in the southwest and abutting the Golden Triangle, is one of the regions most severely affected by drug-related crimes in China, said Gao Xiong, head of the regional Public Security Department.
Registered drug users in the region surpass 160,000, with a year-on-year increase of 25 percent, Gao said.
The present anti-drug network is not sufficiently rigorous and criminals easily find loopholes, so a powerful mechanism is urgently needed, Gao added.
Drug smugglers use Guangxi as a corridor to transport drugs to southeast Asian countries, which greatly damages the image of Guangxi and cooperation with ASEAN, Chen said. “Our main task will be to complete the anti-drug mechanism and control the transport of drugs between countries.”
Hoang Anh Tuyen, deputy head of the Standing Office on Drugs and Crime under Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security, speaking at the fourth Sino-Vietnam bilateral conference on cooperation on drug prevention and control on Oct 15, said the Vietnam-China border remains a hot spot for drug-related crimes.
China and Vietnam have worked together to devise a joint action plan to tackle drug crimes along their border.
The police departments of seven Vietnamese provinces, together with China’s Yunnan province and the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, have exchanged information on drug trafficking rings, the office said.
Meanwhile, Liu Yuejin, standing deputy secretary-general of China’s National Narcotics Control Commission, said the majority of methamphetamine and heroin transported across the China-Vietnam border originated in the Golden Triangle.
Since 2013, Vietnamese customs officials have uncovered 15 drug smuggling cases based on the information provided by their Chinese counterparts, seizing more than 21.2 kilograms of heroin, according to Vietnam’s state-run news agency VNA.
Chinese police arrested 58,000 people, confiscated 25,850 kilograms of drugs and busted more than 1,600 drug rings in the first half of the year.