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Xi: Step up battle against illegal drugs

President Xi Jinping has called for efforts to continue the tough fight against drugs and make new progress in drug control.

Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, said that drug problems at home and abroad, as well as related crimes, both online and offline, pose serious threats to people’s lives and health and to social stability, therefore, unremitting, decisive and thorough anti-drug efforts should be continued.

Noting the nation’s tough stance against drugs, he ordered Party committees and governments at all levels to adhere to the concept of people-centered development, improve the governance system on drug control and deepen international anti-drug cooperation to make greater contributions to maintaining social harmony and stability and protecting the people and their livelihoods.

Xi said drug problems at home and abroad, as well as related crimes, both online and offline, pose serious threats to people’s lives and health and to social stability, therefore, unremitting, decisive and thorough anti-drug efforts should be continued

Xi gave the instructions to a conference held on Tuesday to commend organizations and individuals engaged in the nation’s anti-drug work.

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The conference, which was held in Beijing via video and teleconference, recognized the prominent contributions of 100 organizations and 100 individuals to drug control in China since 2015. It was held ahead of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, which falls annually on June 26.

According to the office of the National Narcotics Control Commission, the number of newly discovered drug users in China in 2019 dropped by 11.9 percent year-on-year, marking a downward trend for the fifth consecutive year. The country has made significant achievements in drug control, with drug-related criminal activities effectively curbed in recent years.

In 2019, the number of new drug users under the age of 35 dropped by 64 percent from 2015, the office said.

In the past five years, China has uncovered 638,000 drug-related crimes, busted 32,000 organizations that produced and trafficked in drugs, arrested 780,000 suspects and seized over 400 tons of various drugs, it said.

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The committee carried out special campaigns at border areas to control drug trafficking. Anti-drug authorities from 14 provinces jointly carried out a special campaign in which 13.5 tons of drugs and 3,221 tons of materials for manufacturing drugs were seized, it said.

The committee has also intensified its crackdown on the online drug trade. The authorities have uncovered a total of 29,000 online drug-related cases, arrested over 39,000 suspects, seized 12 tons of drugs and shut down 960 drug-related websites.

China has actively improved the mechanism of international cooperation in drug control, expanding areas and channels of cooperation. The country has carried out pragmatic bilateral cooperation in anti-drug work with key countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, including Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia.

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A series of international anti-narcotic cooperation measures have been introduced with neighboring countries, including poppy replacement programs in Myanmar and Laos.

With the help of remote-sensing satellites and drones, China has destroyed more than 10.2 million illicit poppy plants and more than 3.4 million cannabis plants over the past five years.

It also strengthened intelligence exchanges and law enforcement cooperation with countries including the United States, Russia, Canada and New Zealand.

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