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Narcotics and China: An Old Security Threat from New Sources

Narcotics and China: An Old Security Threat from New Sources

  1. MiMoMo
    Swanstrom, Niklas China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, Volume 4, No.1(2006) p.113-131
    Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies Program ISSN:1653-4212

    Narcotics threats to China have changed in form and structure and most visibly geographically, from being a problem primarily from Southeast Asia (Golden Triangle), with imports from Laos and Burma (Myanmar), to a more multifaceted threat. The origin of the world's largest exporter of heroin is today Eurasia, more specifically, Afghanistan, while other products are domestic in origin. This will not only create a need for greater diversion of China's police, customs officials and military polices to meet the challenge, it will also create common interests between some of the major transit and consumer states in Eurasia, such as Iran, European Union (EU) and Russia, all of whom suffer from narcotics transit and sales. The traditional assumption of Southeast Asia as the only point of origin for narcotics trafficked into China is no longer true. This is a major concern as the Chinese law enforcement agencies still have too strong a focus on the border areas of Burma and leaves many regions open for smuggling.