Zemek: China’s Deadly, Destabilizing Actions Inflict Global Harm

Zemek: China's Deadly, Destabilizing Actions Inflict Global Harm china drugs global impact and harm (Alexlmx/Dreamstime.com)

By Alexander Zemek | Thursday, 19 May 2022 11:53 AM

Since the Biden-Harris inauguration, we curiously no longer see on news channels the constant split-screen highlighting of COVID-19 deaths.

So, it might be a surprise to most Americans that within the next day it's expected that the U.S. will surpass the tragic 1,000,000 COVID death milestone, the bulk of whom died since the Biden-Harris administration came to office in 2021.

Another tragedy that presently is not getting much coverage is that more than 107,000 Americans died in 2021 due to drug overdoses, a 15% increase over the previous year’s record.

While there are many variables at play with these drug overdoses and COVID-19 deaths, Communist China is interestingly a common factor.

Communist China has a deadly and inhumane track record.

From the 50 million Chinese who starved during Chairman Mao’s "Great Leap Forward" to the forced sterilizations and estimated 336 million Chinese babies aborted when Communist central planners implemented a "One Child Policy," from 1980 until 2015.

Under the present Chinese Communist Party premier — Xi Jinping, who assumed power in 2012, human atrocities have continued.

The Uyghur Muslim ethnic minority in the western Chinese province of Xinjiang have been particularly abused. In the past few years alone, more than a million Uyghurs have been enslaved into "re-education camps."

China’s disrespect for human life is not limited to internal actions in Beijing, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, or Tibet.

In our interconnected world, China’s deadly and destabilizing actions have global consequences.

Irrespective of the disputed origins of novel Wuhan strain of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), Communist China limited World Health Organization (WHO) officials from conducting scientific and forensic investigations.

From the outset, China was dishonest in concealing the virus for weeks.

According to The New York Times: early on, Premier Xi’s regime blocked mention of the novel virus and silenced and criticized Chinese whistleblowers such as Dr. Ai Fen, Dr. Zhang Yongzhen, and Dr. Li Wenliang.

Fortunately, Dr. Zhang, against official orders, shared the virus’ genome with the rest of the world such that global scientists could begin researching the disease and develop tests, remedies, and prophylactics.

However, as a result of the Chinese government’s obstruction, global scientists lost precious time and the virus further spread to a pandemic that has killed over 6,250,000 and counting.

It seems that during the global fallout of the pandemic, and with the administration change in the United States, China’s hand has only gotten stronger.

There are fears that China might strategically capitalize on a weakened America during the Biden-Harris administration. Just as Putin has used this time to invade Ukraine, there is concern that the Chinese Communists might use this opportunity to seize strategic Taiwan.

The week after the Biden-Harris inauguration in January of 2021, China’s military conducted a massive incursion around Taiwan’s air-defense identification zone. During the first year of the Biden-Harris administration, China conducted a record 950 incursions into Taiwan’s space, and large-scale provocative Chinese exercises have continued in 2022.

Given China’s history of disrespect for life, China’s role in the massive amounts of drug overdoses in the U.S. is particularly troubling.

According to the recently published report by the bi-partisan U.S. Commission on Combatting Synthetic Opioid Trafficking, more than one million Americans have died from drug overdoes since 1999 — a number more than double caused by firearms or car accidents.

The synthetic opioid — fentanyl was the main culprit for the 107,000 Americans who overdosed last year. China is a leading producer of counterfeit drugs and the leading supplier to the Mexican drug cartels of fentanyl, its precursor chemicals, and pill producing equipment.

While it may not be the Chinese Communist Party directly supplying these narcotic weapons of mass destruction, they do not seems driven to stop the flow.

There was some progress during the Trump administration, which succeeded in pressuring Primier Xi to designate fentanyl a controlled substance, however questions continue regarding China’s commitment and ability to enforce fentanyl restrictions.

According to a RAND study, China has a limited number of drug inspectors, poor regulatory design, and lackadaisical enforcement.

Reportedly, China has 5,000 pharmaceutical manufacturers, but only a small portion are scrutinized by regulators.

For example, in 2017, national Chinese authorities conducted only 15 inspections of manufacturers of narcotics and controlled substances, while the U.S. Food and Drug administration conducted 694 inspections of narcotics and controlled substance related drug facilities during this time.

Given the massive amounts of fentanyl that are being transshipped, the future looks grim.

For example, Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, recently announced that law enforcement officers seized enough fentanyl to kill 300 million Americans.

While the challenge to turn the tide on Chinese fentanyl trafficking is steep, there are basic steps the U.S. can take. The U.S. needs to realize that it is strength not weakness that will have an impact on China.

Certainly, the U.S. can encourage China to increase its inspectors and inspections of the controlled narcotics.

The U.S. can increase its relative influence over China by reducing dependence their manufacturing and federal debt funding of which China holds more than $1 Trillion.

Additionally, fewer drugs would be able to get into the United States if we secured our borders, such that we know who intends to enter the country, if they are lawfully permitted, and what they are bringing with them — and hopefully it is not a novel virus nor a deadly narcotic.

Alex Zemek currently serves as president of The Gethsemane Group. Previously, Zemek served at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as Assistant Secretary (acting) for Counterterrorism and Threat Prevention. Additionally, during his two decades of federal service, he served at multiple agencies in a range of disciplines.

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