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Breitbart
Breitbart
17 Nov 2023
Christian K. Caruzo


NextImg:Socialist AMLO Invites Xi Jinping to Mexico for Collaboration on Fentanyl, Lithium

Mexican far-left President Andrés Manuel López Obrador held his first-ever meeting in person with Chinese dictator Xi Jinping on Thursday, reaffirming their nations’ “friendly relations” and agreeing to combat fentanyl trafficking.

The Mexican president informed that, during the meeting, López Obrador invited Xi to visit Mexico “in the coming months.” Xi’s visit to Mexico will reportedly be centered around the Mexican government’s lithium and renewable energy project known as Plan Sonora, and the Interoceanic Corridor of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (CIIT), a project that seeks to connect the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans through a railway system.

Mexico, which nationalized its lithium industry last year, ranks as the tenth-richest country in lithium reserves, estimated at 1.7 million tonnes. China is the world’s largest lithium consumer, an indispensable material used in the manufacturing of electric vehicle batteries and batteries used in electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops, and tablets.

According to China’s state-run Xinhua news agency, Xi made calls for expanding China’s cooperation with Mexico in finance, electric vehicles, and other emerging industries, adding that both countries “that the two sides should make good use of the intergovernmental cooperation mechanism and deepen cooperation in traditional areas such as infrastructure construction.”

“In these more than five years since the inauguration of Mr. President [López Obrador], he has led the Mexican government and people to advance in reforms and innovations, achieving important results in the process of national development, for which I would like to congratulate him,” Xi said during the meeting according to the Chinese embassy in Mexico.

“The friendship between China and Mexico, reaching the winds and rains, has been strengthening over time. Last year we solemnly celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, and this year we mark the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the China-Mexico comprehensive strategic partnership,” López Obrador said. “I attach great importance to the development of binational relations and am ready to work with you to continue the half-century-old traditional friendship and take the relations between the two countries to a new level.”

The encounter – which occurred on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit held in San Francisco, California, this week – concluded with López Obrador saying that he and Xi had committed “to continue maintaining good relations for the benefit of our people.”

Mexican Foreign Minister Alicia Bárcena stated that the two leaders agreed to support households affected by Hurricane Otis, a Category 5 hurricane that caused widespread destruction in Acapulco. Bárcena also said that both Xi and López Obrador agreed to combat illegal trafficking of synthetic drug precursor chemicals and to boost trade and investment between both countries.

China is the number one supplier of essential precursor chemicals for fentanyl, largely produced by Mexican drug cartels and smuggled into America.

Fentanyl is a highly dangerous and addictive synthetic opioid that is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. While fentanyl has pharmaceutical uses in the treatment of very specific severe pain cases, such as chronic pain caused by cancer, illegally manufactured fentanyl and fentanyl-laced drugs have led to a rising number of drug overdose deaths in the United States.

Under the Biden Administration, the United States has seen the smuggling of fentanyl through the U.S-Mexico border dramatically increase to up to four times higher than what it was in 2020. Deaths from drug overdoses, especially fentanyl-related cases, increased by 15 percent during 2021. The city of San Francisco — where López Obrador and Xi’s encounter took place — registered more drug overdose deaths in August 2023 than in any prior month since 2020, when the city started keeping records of overdose deaths.

Last year, in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News Daily, Mark Lamb, the sheriff of Pinal County, Arizona, said that China is supplying Mexican cartels with the essential ingredients used to produce fentanyl, which is then smuggled into the United States.

“Centuries ago, there were the Opium Wars that literally almost brought a dynasty to its knees, and I think that China is now exacting that same fate on the West [and] on America,” Lamb stated. “They’re bringing in the majority of the precursors that it takes to create the fentanyl. They give it to the cartels in Mexico, and then Mexico is producing the product that they’re transporting into Arizona and into America.”

In April, López Obrador sent a letter to Xi asking the Chinese dictator’s help to control fentanyl imports to Mexico while at the same time criticizing U.S. Republican legislators who demanded stronger measures to curb the flow of fentanyl from the U.S.-Mexico border.

In April’s letter, López Obrador denied Mexico’s involvement in the manufacturing of fentanyl, despite evidence presented by law enforcement agencies and reports indicating that Mexican drug cartels are manufacturing fentanyl in clandestine laboratories using Chinese supplies.

Shortly afterward, the Chinese government echoed Mexico’s statements, claiming that there is no illegal fentanyl trade between both nations.

Christian K. Caruzo is a Venezuelan writer and documents life under socialism. You can follow him on Twitter here.