III. Cracking Down on Drug-related Crimes

China's anti-drug law enforcement organs enforce the laws strictly and are waging a fierce battle against all drug-related criminal activities, administering merciless punishment to those involved in such activities.

In China, drugs mainly come from other countries, and the Chinese government has done its best to ban transit drug trafficking. In the 1980s, the government organized public security, armed police and customs organs, and the civilian joint defense teams to coordinate the fight against drug trafficking, mainly in the southwest border areas and southeast coastal areas. It mobilized a large number of people, a great quantity of materials and a large amount of money. Three "lines of defense"were set up to keep drugs from flowing in: The first line was the borderland, where exit and entry were subject to strict examination; the second line was composed of checkpoints in inland regions; and the third line consisted of checks on vital lines of communication, airports, railway stations and harbors. In the 1990s, the work of banning transit drug trafficking was further intensified and attention was paid to "eradicating sources of drugs and obstructing their channels of trafficking." Checking was publicly done on key lines of communication, and at airports, railway stations, sea ports and harbors, so that a situation was created in which defense was organized in a unified way and actions were coordinated with due divisions of labor and incoming drug dealers were subject to encirclement, pursuit, obstruction and interception. The functions of relevant organs such as the public security, customs, forestry, posts and telecommunications, railway, civil aviation and other transport departments have been brought into full play, culminating in a signal victory in the battle against drugs. Since 1982, more than 70,000 transit drug trafficking cases have been cleared up in Yunnan Province alone, and more than 80 tons of heroin and opium from the "Golden Triangle"area have been confiscated. In May 1994, police in Yunnan Province cracked an extraordinarily serious transnational drug smuggling case, in which the "Golden Triangle"drug ring kingpin was sentenced by the judicial organ to capital punishment according to law. For many years China's law enforcement organs have consistently adopted a highhanded policy in dealing with drug-related criminal activities and struck heavy blows at the overweening arrogance of the drug-related culprits both at home and abroad.

While stemming the trafficking of drugs from abroad, the Chinese government has continuously organized special battles against drugs, constantly focussing attention on areas where drugs constitute a serious problem and hitting hard at drug crimes at home. In the three consecutive years from 1983 to 1986, China launched a nationwide campaign to crack down on criminal offenses, targeted mainly at drug-related crimes. In August 1992, the Yunnan provincial government organized an 83-day armed drug elimination operation, in which a massive drug- and weapon-smuggling ring which had been operating in the town of Pingyuan, Wenshan Prefecture, Yunnan Province, with the characteristics of a criminal syndicate was smashed at one fell swoop. From 1993 to 1996, in the southwest border areas, the Ministry of Public Security launched a three-year campaign against drugs and firearms. In 1997, according to a unified deployment the NNCC launched a momentous anti-drug campaign nationwide, with great success. Since 1999, under the unified organization of the NNCC key areas like Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, Guangdong and Gansu provinces and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region have paid great attention to drug-infested areas and cracked a sequence of major drug-related cases, arrested a contingent of drug-traffickers, wiped out a batch of drug-smuggling gangs and eradicated a number of underground drug-dealing markets and networks. From 1991 to 1999, China's drug-control organs cracked more than 800,000 drug cases, and confiscated 39.67 tons of heroin, 16.894 tons of opium, 15.079 tons of marijuana and 23.375 tons of methamphetamine.

China is a country with a large population. So it needs a lot of legal narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. While endeavoring to protect people's health and meet the needs of medical treatment the government practices strict control of 118 narcotic drugs and 119 psychotropic substances, and their production, trading, use and import and export are restricted to prevent illegal circulation. The health and pharmaceuticals control and management departments, as well as the agricultural, industrial and commercial administration, foreign trade, customs, public security, railway, civil aviation and other transport departments in different areas carry out security checks every year on the production, trading, transportation, and import and export of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. The illegal production, trafficking and supply or abuse of such drugs and substances are promptly investigated and punished. A large number of criminal cases of stealing, illegal buying and selling or addiction of pethidine and other narcotic drugs have been investigated and severely dealt with in Heilongjiang, Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the northern part of China.

The Chinese government prohibits the cultivation of mother drug plants. It has always taken this as a focal point of its drug control work and paid constant attention to it as a way to nip troubles in the bud. Every year, the NNCC instructs governments at all levels to promote the activities to eradicate drug cultivation and to carry out a responsibility system along that line. Anti-drug publicity and education is conducted among the people and efforts are made to investigate illegal drug planting and to see that drug growers are punished and the plants are uprooted wherever they are found. The local governments in key mountainous and forested areas organize special teams every year to investigate and check the illegal planting of mother drug plants. Since 1992, the NNCC and forestry departments have organized aerial surveillance of suspected planting in the primeval forests in the Greater Hinggan Mountains in northeast China and in the Lianhua Mountains in northwest China, with modern scientific and technological methods. As a result of all this, China has virtually eradicated the illegal cultivation of mother drug plants.