By Austin Bodetti

China and the United States rarely agree. Whereas the U.S. has threatened to bomb North Korea, China considers the hermit kingdom a troublesome but worthwhile ally. The U.S. has tried to outmaneuverChinese warships in the East and South China Seas to thwart the expansionist ambitions of East Asia’s largest country; China has launched countless cyberattacks on the U.S., which has long armed Taiwan, the Chinese province turned sovereign state. When the U.S. criticized China for abusing human rights, China rebranded the War on Terror as a way to extinguish activism and secessionism among Muslims in Xinjiang. Tibetans, who inhabit another province with a secessionist history, have many friends in the United States. It may surprise many observers of the Sino–American relations to read, then, that China and the U.S. have a mutual interests in pursuing the War on Drugs, a controversial American enterprise.

“The competition between the U.S. and China doesn’t mean there can’t be cooperation on combating opiates and opioids,” noted Jeffrey Higgins, a former supervisory special agent in the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

“China has a growing drug problem, despite its draconian drug laws. This gives China a compelling interest in collaborating with any country to combat drugs.”

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Thumnbail Flickr CC Alastair Rae