China steps up fight against drugs

By Lin Liyao
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, July 17, 2014
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On June 24, Chinese renowned script-writer and novelist Ning Caishen was arrested by Beijing police over drug use.

Ning Caishen, whose real name is Chen Wanning, was detained in an apartment in Chaoyang District after a tip-off that he had taken drugs. Police seized a small bag of crystal meth and drug paraphernalia from his desk drawer, and his urine sample tested positive for crystal meth.

Ning confessed to police that he had been taking drugs for more than seven months and he had consumed drugs just before being arrested.

According to the latest statistics released by the Ministry of Public Security, the registered drug-taking population in China has reached 2.58 million. In the first five months of this year, Chinese courts sentenced 39,762 criminals for drug offenses, up 27.38 percent from last year.

It has also been estimated that the spread of drugs has caused a direct economic loss of more than 100 billion yuan ($16 billion) each year.

On July 6, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council published a new guideline to strengthen the government's national anti-narcotics work.

The guideline includes anti-drugs work into the development of the country's legal system and highlights the anti-drug work as a "national security strategy".

"It is the first time that an anti-narcotics guideline has been put forward in the name of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council," said Liu Yuejin, the anti-drug chief of the Ministry of Public Security.

Liu said the guideline was issued at a time when the international spread of drugs is getting increasingly rampant, and the domestic situation is also worsening.

Li Xianhui, chairman of the China Narcotics Control Foundation, said that "drugs are more and more accessible in common people's lives," adding that China is now confronted with a worsening situation in terms of overseas drug penetration, domestic drug dealing, trafficking of drug-making chemicals and a growing number of addicts.

The guideline envisaged that by 2020 the number of drug users would grow at a much slower rate. To reach such a target, the guideline specified a clear timeline and roadmap, and addressed some new regulations.

The guideline noted that drug trafficking and drug penetration from overseas as well as domestic narcotics production and sales will be harshly penalized.

Local governments and Party committees will take responsibility for local anti-drugs work. The effect of anti-drugs work will become an important criterion for the current cadre performance evaluation system.

China will encourage voluntary drug rehabilitation, including providing drug rehab services in community facilities while regulating compulsory and quarantined drug rehab centers, and build a social service network for addicts.

In addition, efforts also will be made to enhance international anti-narcotics cooperation as well as drug prevention and education in an all-round way.

"The focus for anti-drugs work should be prevention, especially for young adults and teenagers," said by Song Zengliang, director of the prevention and education section of the Drug Control Bureau, under the Ministry of Public Security.

On June 19, Chinese popstar Jay Chou was invited to be an ambassador for China's anti-drug campaign in the run up to the 28th International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

"Many young people take drugs simply out of curiosity," Chou said during an anti-drug TV program, "We have to stay away from drugs and treasure our lives."

"The guideline reflects the high level of attention and steadfast determination of the Chinese government in combating drugs, which will definitely improve China's battle against drugs," said Liu Yuejin.


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