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Chinese state media says fentanyl abuse is entirely U.S. responsibility

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese state media on Friday hit back at claims by U.S. officials that China was failing to crack down on the flow of fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances into the United States, saying that responsibility for opioid abuse lay with users.

The United States was “pushing responsibility” for fentanyl abuse to China and ignoring that Beijing had implemented strict controls on the highly addictive synthetic opioid, reported The People’s Daily newspaper, published by the ruling Communist Party.

U.S. officials say China is the main source of illicit fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances that are trafficked into the United States, much of it through international mail. Beijing denies that most of the illicit fentanyl entering the United States originates in China.

“Some people in the United States need to understand, the source of the illness lies within one’s body,” the newspaper said in an article which bore the pen name “Zhong Sheng”, usually used to express its views on foreign policy.

“You can’t be rushed to see the doctor, and you can’t just scold others once you’re ill,” it said, adding that the United States had not done enough to fight the epidemic of opioid abuse.

The U.S. Treasury on Wednesday imposed sanctions on three Chinese men accused of illegally trafficking fentanyl. U.S. President Donald Trump accused Beijing of reneging on pledges to stem a flood of the drug into the United States.

(Reporting by Brenda Goh; editing by Stephen Coates)

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