President Trump praised China for giving the death penalty to drug dealers.
Answering a question about fentanyl crossing the US-Mexico border during a White House event Monday.
President Trump invoked conversations he had with Chinese President Xi and his country’s crackdown on dealers of the powerful synthetic opioid.
“I met with President Xi on the trade deal, and I said, ‘You have to stop fentanyl coming into our country,’” President Trump said, referring to a discussion that took place before China agreed to reclassify fentanyl as a “controlled substance.” This agreement in late Y 2018 meant that people selling fentanyl to the United States “will be subject to China’s maximum penalty under the law,” according to the White House.
“Criminal in China for drugs, by the way, means that’s serious. They’re getting a maximum penalty,” President Trump said Monday. “And you know what the maximum penalty is in China for that. And it goes very quickly.”
Late last year, a Chinese court convicted and sentenced a man to death for trafficking fentanyl to the US, stemming from a joint investigation with American law enforcement.
The President also said Monday that states with severe penalties on drug offenses had “very little drug problems,” but also noted, “I don’t know that our country is ready” for the death penalty for convicted drug dealers who face steep fines and lengthy prison sentences.
“But if you look throughout the world, the countries with a powerful death penalty … with a fair but quick trial, they have very little, if any, drug problem. That includes China,” he said.
The comments are reminiscent of President Trump’s past recollections of his conversations with Xi.
“You have 1.4-B people. What do you mean you have no drug problem?” President Trump said he asked of the foreign leader in remarks last year. “No, we don’t have a drug problem … Death penalty. We give death penalty to people that sell drugs. End of problem.” President Trump then mocked the US’ approach to drugs, saying, “What do we do? We set up blue-ribbon committees.”
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