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ICYMI: “Hassan gives Chinese leaders blunt talk on fentanyl threat”

WASHINGTON – In case you missed it, Senator Maggie Hassan recently returned from a bipartisan Congressional Delegation trip to China and South Korea. In particular, Senator Hassan pushed Chinese President Xi Jinping to take further action to combat fentanyl trafficking. Yesterday, Senator Hassan spoke with the Union Leader and WMUR about the trip.

See below for coverage highlights:

Union Leader: Hassan gives Chinese leaders blunt talk on fentanyl threat

By Kevin Landrigan

U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., said she had a blunt response after Chinese leaders expressed concern that the American people and its political leaders were “turning against them” over that country’s link to opioid deaths in America.

“I said, ‘90% of the precursor materials to fentanyl being brought here is coming from the black market in your country and it’s killing people in New Hampshire and across our country,’” Hassan said during a telephone interview.

“What would you think my constituents think about China right now?”

[…]In China, the delegation met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Chairman of the National People’s Congress Zhao Leji, Foreign Minister and Director of the Foreign Affairs Commission Wang Yi as well as Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao.

Along with addressing fentanyl, Hassan said the other goal of this mission for the American contingent was to press China about providing a “level playing field” for American businesses.

[…]“The cartels had changed their tactics after China stopped shipping fentanyl directly,” Hassan said.

“They are now exploiting a black market in China, and during this visit they needed to hear us make the case that this was not acceptable.”

[…]Hassan said the group brought with them several examples of individual, American companies that China had sanctioned without providing any reasoning for it.

“We weren’t going to accept unfair trade practices and American businesses are beginning to wonder whether China is investible,” Hassan said.

“We expect them to have the same transparent processes of American companies doing business in China as we provide Chinese companies doing business in America.”


The Senator says they made it clear that the Chinese government has to crack down on fentanyl trafficking, noting that traffickers have changed the way they operate, and officials overseas need to make sure they adjust to stop it.

[…]The Senator says 90% of the chemicals that are used to make fentanyl still come from China. And in a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping members of the delegation emphasized the importance of putting a stop to it, which the Senator says she believes was well received.

Senator Hassan: “Obviously we have to see whether they actually take action here but they did say that they were willing to look into this and they did indicate an openness to actual communications with the United States government about this.”