The Biden administration has formed a “working group” with the Chinese Communist Party to counter a growing global narcotics and fentanyl crisis, the State Department announced.

Multiple U.S. government departments—including State, Homeland Security, Justice, and Treasury—will work with Beijing to counter the global production and trafficking of narcotics, specifically fentanyl, according to a press release Thursday from the State Department.

China is chiefly responsible for shipping fentanyl precursors into Mexico, and those ingredients are then made into a final product and trafficked into the U.S., killing scores of Americans every year, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

The U.S.-China working group “complements other ongoing efforts by the State Department to counter the scourge of fentanyl, including the Global Coalition to Address Synthetic Drug Threats,” the State Department said in its announcement. “It is a mechanism for ongoing bilateral communication and policy and law enforcement coordination to support and implement concrete enforcement actions and exchange information on counternarcotics efforts, which will help to save lives in the United States and around the world.”

Delegates from U.S. agencies traveled to Beijing in late January for talks with Chinese officials on how to address the crisis, including through policy enactments, law enforcement, and shared cooperation, according to the State Department.

A top counternarcotics official in Beijing evaded responsibility for China’s massive role in the U.S. fentanyl crisis days before the delegation arrived, claiming that the problem stemmed from a high American demand for the drug.

“The crisis in the U.S. is not manufactured by China; rather, its roots lie within the United States itself,” Yu Haibin, a senior Chinese counternarcotics official, said Jan. 26.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping discussed the fentanyl issue with and President Joe Biden on the sidelines of an international summit in San Francisco in November, the first meeting between the two world leaders in roughly a year.

Xi promised Biden that he would begin taking steps to crack down on fentanyl within his own borders.

Fentanyl killed over 105,000 people in America between February 2022 and January 2023, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fentanyl is highly addictive and 100 times more potent than morphine; one kilogram of the drug can kill nearly half a million people, according to the DEA.

The State Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Originally published by the Daily Caller News Foundation

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