Why Does State-Run China Daily Care About OxyContin Settlements in the US?

(AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

The People’s Republic of China’s state-run China Daily recently trumpeted an article that discussed Purdue Pharma, the maker of the prescription painkiller OxyContin (an opioid), offering up $4.3 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits in the US. Here are a couple of excerpts:

US attorneys general suing Purdue Pharma, maker of the prescription painkiller OxyContin that became addictive for hundreds of thousands of people, are demanding more money after the company’s owners boosted more from their personal fortune and offered nearly $4.3 billion to settle thousands of opioid lawsuits.

To halt mounting civil litigation, which was costing Purdue $2 million a week in related legal fees, the company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2019.

The plan, filed in US Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, New York, marks the Stamford, Connecticut-based company’s formal offer to settle more than 2,900 lawsuits from states, municipalities, Native American tribes, hospitals and other plaintiffs for costs associated with the epidemic.

Under the plan, victims and their families would share a pool of $700 million to $750 million. Payments would range from $3,500, which most children who were born in opioid withdrawal would receive, to $48,000 for survivors of those whose deaths were linked to OxyContin.

Nice of the ChiComs to cover the opioid crisis in the US from the perspective of the opioid user for a change. Maybe the cynical Communists think that focusing on the demand side of opioids is an altruistic endeavor on their part because they neglect to mention Communist China’s direct culpability in the supply side of the illicit opioid trade in America, which dwarfs the OxyContin story in terms of lives lost or destroyed. Therein lies a tale that the China Daily, et al. would prefer to keep secret. Let’s look at China’s role in the illicit fentanyl trade – the key opioid killer of Americans over the past several years.

First of all, a lot of Americans do not know what fentanyl is. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent. It is a prescription drug that is also made and used illegally as a drug of choice. Synthetic fentanyl is sold illegally as a powder, dropped onto blotter paper, put in eye droppers and nasal sprays, or made into pills that look like other prescription opioids. Some drug dealers are mixing fentanyl with other drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and MDMA. Fentanyl is addictive because of its potency, and overdoses are killing thousands of Americans every year.

Where does fentanyl come from? Here is an excerpt from a 2019 report from InSight Crime:

China produces nearly all of the fentanyl, fentanyl analogues, and fentanyl precursors in the world, although India—with its large chemical infrastructure—appears poised to make an entry into the market, and Mexican traffickers are starting to produce it as well using precursors obtained mostly in China.

Mexico is a growing transit and production point for fentanyl, with most of the product entering via the ports of Manzanillo and Lázaro Cárdenas.

Fentanyl’s potency also opens the door to entrepreneurs who bypass Mexico altogether, obtaining their supplies directly from China and selling them on the dark web.

According to a January 2020 report from the US Drug Enforcement Agency:

China remains the primary source of fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances trafficked through international mail and express consignment operations environment, as well as the main source for all fentanyl-related substances trafficked into the United States. Seizures of fentanyl sourced from China average less than one kilogram in weight, and often test above 90 percent concentration of pure fentanyl.

What are the consequences of this illicit drug trade? From an NPR report last November:

[Fentanyl misuse has] led to more than 37,000 overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2019, part of a national opioid crisis that has worsened this year during the coronavirus pandemic, according to federal health authorities.

The Bottom Line. There is an enormous manufacture of fentanyl (by the tons) and other synthetic narcotics in China. Is it merely coincidental that the Chinese also seek world economic domination via these major initiatives: Made in China 2025 (world domination of means of production), One Belt One Road (use of debt traps to capture natural resources necessary to fuel Chinese production), and Maritime Silk Road (use of debt traps to capture maritime transportation infrastructure to ship natural resources to China)? Consider these Chinese actions that have been much in the news over the past year in that context:

  • Relentless Chinese spying in the US to obtain intellectual property and key advanced technologies
  • Exploitation of the Confucius Institute and Thousand Talents program to penetrate US colleges and universities in order to steal science and technology
  • Ongoing Chinese cyber espionage and attacks against US companies and federal agencies (Solar Winds being the most recent example)

Why wouldn’t producing and shipping massive quantities of fentanyl and other synthetic and addictive drugs to the US be part of this multi-pronged Chinese approach to achieve dominance while directly undermine their key strategic economic rival – the United States of America? What better way to destroy the US from within through drug addiction and the hopelessness that addiction engenders?

As usual, China Daily and the other Communist Chinese state-run media only tell the happy stories: Chinese cultural propaganda, Chinese altruism, Chinese philanthropy, comparing the supposed benefits of their “authoritarian capitalism system” to that of the West’s free enterprise system, etc. If I really wanted to read agit-prop, I would check out The New York Times and The Washington Post, but hey! The ChiComs are masters at it, too.

The end.