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China can gain prestige as SE Asia's drug cop

By Ding Gang (Global Times)

15:33, October 13, 2011

Edited and Translated by People's Daily Online

Recently, many sailors from China were cruelly killed in the Golden Triangle, indicating that the security situation of the region is worsening. This region, known around the world for its century-old drug trade, is still a dangerous region. And the danger is strengthening as the economic and trade relations between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations continue to rapidly develop.

The geographic status of the Golden Triangle and its surrounding regions is very important. The region is home the Lantsang River-Mekong River transportation route flowing through six countries. Also some railways, highways and oil and gas pipelines connecting China and Southeast Asia are under construction and will go through its surrounding regions. If the Golden Triangle is unsafe, the main artery of Asia will not be clear and smooth.

The main trouble of the Golden Triangle is that the minority issues are very complicated in this region. The common people living in Burma are leading an arduous life. Some minorities of Burma even have developed their own armed forces to fight for their independence. Poppy cultivation and drug smuggling have become increasingly common in this region in recent years.

According to the Annual Report on Drug Control in China 2011 issued by the National Narcotics Control Commission of China, the Golden Triangle is still the drug source that harms China most. The report says that, according to satellite remote sensing investigations and ground investigations, the poppy cultivation area in the north of Burma has continued to grow in recent years and grew again to 286 square kilometers in 2010 after decreasing to 186 square kilometers in 2007. Meanwhile, the drug output of the region has greatly increased, and the situation of smuggling drugs to China has also become more severe.

When I visited the area in April 2011, I saw several lookout posts near the border that were established by the Thai police. Local residents said that the amount of the drug seized in the Golden Triangle has surged since the start of 2010 as has the number of robberies by criminal gangs. The situation has been serious enough for the countries around the area to take collective action.

China has made great efforts over recent years to tackle the drug issue in the area. However, the current situation shows that the fight against drug trafficking is at stake. The drug issue will arise in border areas and affect the development of the ties between China and the ASEAN as well as the image and prestige of China in Asia.

China's actions against drug gangs and trafficking aim not to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries and are in line with the international practices. China should cooperate with its neighboring countries to rapidly establish a more effective network in order to secure information on drug gangs in a comprehensive and right manner and severely crack down on them. China reserves the rights to take measures against the violent activities, such as the killing of Chinese sailors.

Furthermore, China can provide greater assistance and more opportunities to the poor residents of the Golden Triangle, so as to eliminate their dependence on opium for their livelihood.

China should also make clear its stance toward the armed forces of various ethnic groups in the drug-infested region. The ethnic groups all have the right to choose their own path of development but will definitely be punished if they continue to sell drugs or commit related crimes. A major joint international police operation is urgently needed to teach the drug smugglers in the region a hard lesson.

Eliminating drug trafficking in the Golden Triangle is a test of China's ability to cooperate with neighboring countries and also an opportunity for China to expand its regional influence.


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Canada at 2011-10-1370.36.49.*
Perhaps China could consider purchasing the opium production and manufacture it into morphine. Two or three years ago, it was reported there was a world shortage of morphine [medicine].

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