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Xi urges Chinese path in fighting war on drugs

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The Shenyang Public Security Bureau in Northeast China's Liaoning Province displays seized drugs on Monday after busting a cross-province drug trafficking case. Authorities arrested 96 people, seized 20 kilograms in drugs and more than 200 drug-related tools. Photo: VCG

Chinese President Xi Jinping urged a path with Chinese characteristics to contain drug-related problems and win the war on drugs in the new era ahead of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, which falls on Tuesday.

To win the war, Xi spoke of the need to strengthen Party leadership, give full play to the political and system advantages, improve the anti-drug work mechanism, heighten responsibilities for officials and mobilize the public, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Recently many regions in China have vowed to carry on their anti-drug war.

The Beijing Public Security Bureau announced Sunday it arrested 7,745 drug addicts last year.

A court in Lufeng in South China's Guangdong Province sentenced 10 people to death for manufacturing, distributing and transporting drugs, according to a statement released by the Intermediate People's Court of Shanwei, which administers Lufeng, on its Weibo account.

As China steps up its efforts to fight drug abuse and trafficking, a new report said that although the number of drug addicts is increasing, the year-on-year growth rate has dropped, especially among teenagers.

The 2017 China Drug Situation Report sent to the Global Times by China National Narcotics Control Commission (CNNC) on Monday shows China confiscated 89.2 tons of drugs and discovered 340,000 new drug addicts in 2017.

The report said as of the end of 2017, China had around 2.55 million drug addicts, an increase of 1.9 percent from the previous year.

'Severe, complicated'

However, the year-on-year growth rate dropped by 5 percent. Compared to 2016, the number of teenager drug addicts has dropped by 19 percent.

Experts hailed the country's intensified efforts to crack down on drug abuse and trafficking, but warned that the situation remains severe and complicated.

The CNNC report also said that society should be alert to the rising number of people hooked on synthetic drugs, including methamphetamine and ketamine.  

Tests from the national drug laboratory found 34 new psychoactive drug substances in 2017, for a total of 230.

"Some people try to change the packaging and lure teenagers.  Compared with the strong addiction to traditional drugs, which are naturally processed, the new chemical drugs have less addictive symptoms. They are more likely to be popular among young people," Shi Jianchun, vice deputy director of Volunteers of Beijing Narcotics Control Association, told the Global Times.

Beijing police said the abuse of new types of drugs such as khat and so-called "laughing gas," is rising as they have confiscated more than 1 ton of khat in recent years.

New approaches

Local governments have been exploring new ways to fight drug abuse and trafficking.

The government of Yunnan Province, where trafficking has always been a problem as it borders the "Golden Triangle" a notorious region known for drug production and trafficking, said that a big data center, which was established in May, has helped arrest 280 drug traffickers, crack down on over 70 drug gangs and detain over 900 drug addicts.

A statement from the province's publicity department sent to the Global Times on Monday, says the big data center gathered information from the public security departments and public sources, which helped monitor key suspects, analyze important cases and provide information to local police officers to intercept drug deals.

The statement said the center has collected 7.2 trillion pieces of information.

The Ministry of Justice has been using traditional Chinese medicine and virtual reality technology to help rehabilitate drug addicts, and the results are promising.


Newspaper headline: Xi urges Chinese path in war on drugs


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