- The Washington Times - Monday, December 3, 2018

President Trump praised Chinese President Xi Jinping for promising to crack down on illegal fentanyl shipments from China following the two leaders’ Saturday meeting at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina.

“What he will be doing to fentanyl could be a game changer for the United States,” Mr. Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One Saturday night.

“… He’s agreed to put it at the highest level of crime in his country. Therefore, if they get caught, they have the highest level of punishment.”

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters that China will “tighten supervision of fentanyl and revise rules on the drug” and enhance law enforcement cooperation with the U.S., Bloomberg reported.

The agreement came out of the Saturday dinner where the two leaders also decided on a truce over the escalating trade war.

In a report published by Congress last week, the government identified China as the No. 1 supplier to the U.S. of illegal fentanyl and criticized the Chinese government for being “slow and ineffective” in keeping up with the numerous variations of the drug, which are more potent and deadly. Illicit fentanyl was responsible for more than 40 percent of the 70,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2017 and 60 percent of opioid-related deaths.

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