The present globalization of the drug issue has posed a grave   menace to human well-being and development. According to data  published by the United Nations in 1998, 21 million people  worldwide suffered from cocaine or heroin addiction, and another  30 million from the abuse of amphetamine-type stimulants.

On her southwestern border China is adjacent to the "Golden  Triangle," one of the main sources of drugs in the world. Since   the late 1970s, the illicit international narcotics tide has  constantly invaded China, and criminal drug-related activities  touched off by transit drug trafficking have re-emerged. The  number of drug addicts has kept rising, drug-related cases have  constantly increased, the drug scourge is becoming more serious  with each passing day, and the situation is grim for the anti-drug struggle. In 1999, China cracked down 65,000 drug-related criminal cases, and confiscated 5.364 tons of heroin, 1.193 tons of opium,  16.059 tons of crystal methamphetamine (commonly known as "ice"),  and some cocaine, MDMA and marijuana. In 1999, the number of drug- related cases cracked and the total amount of drugs confiscated  increased by 2.4 percent and 33.6 percent, respectively, over 1998.

The number of drug addicts registered with the public security  organs in 1991 was 148,000, a figure which rose to 520,000 in 1995, and to 681,000 in 1999. Now drug addicts account for 0.054 percent of China's total population. Of the drug addicts, those taking  heroin make up 71.5 percent, and those under the age of 35 amount  to 79.2 percent. By the end of 1999, of a total of 17,316 reported cases of AIDS virus infection, those infected by intravenous  injections of drugs made up 72.4 percent. At present, each  province, autonomous region, and municipality directly under the  Central Government in China suffers from illegal drug-related   activities to a certain extent, and China has been turned from a  victim of the transit drug trade into a victim of both drug  transit and consumption.

Illicit drugs bring calamity to any country and people.   Launching an anti-drug struggle to eliminate the drug scourge is  the historical responsibility of the Chinese government. In old  China, drugs once brought hideous disaster to the nation. But  after the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, the Chinese government led the Chinese people in a momentous  struggle against drugs. In a short period of three years, China   wiped out the scourge of opium, which had scourged China for a  century, thus performing a miracle acknowledged by the whole world.

Confronting the new drug problem, the Chinese government, taking  an attitude of supreme responsibility to the state, the nation and the people, and the mankind as a whole, and standing firm in  strictly prohibiting illegal drugs, has adopted all necessary  measures and done its utmost to ban illicit drugs for the benefit  of the people.