Beijing: Apart from the Taiwan issue, US relations with China have also worsened because of Beijing's suspended cooperation to combat narcotics trafficking including illegally made Fentanyl, media reports said.

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid which is approved for treating severe pain and advanced cancer pain, has resulted in cases of overdose, and death linked to illegal manufacturing of this drug.

According to the media portal, Investigative Journalism Reportika, US agency combating drug trafficking and distribution had blocked websites publicly selling Fentanyl in more than 20 languages. As per various reports, these labs which were selling drugs are speculated to be in China.

The US also hunted down the dark web where people have been involved in the online selling of Fentanyl. In a call in July, US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed the Fentanyl issue.

One of the outcomes of this was that both countries agreed to task their teams to conduct follow-up work. But all did not go as per plan. To protest a visit to Taiwan by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, China suspended cooperation with the US to combat narcotics trafficking.

Earlier, Rahul Gupta, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) said, "disappointed by the move in light of the ongoing overdose epidemic driven by fentanyl that has claimed more than 100,000 lives in the US in the past year. At a time when illicit fentanyl continues to claim a life every five minutes, it's unacceptable that China is withholding cooperation that would help to bring to justice individuals who traffic these illicit drugs and who engage in this global criminal enterprise."

China is a hub of illegal Fentanyl supply chains. According to data cited by the media portal, Investigative Journalism Reportika, China was the source of 97 pc of inbound shipments of high-purity Fentanyl during 2016 and 2017 and over 70 pc after it.

Opioid vendors show more inclination to work in China's industrial hinterlands in view of the less strict security. China sends active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and precursors to the final Fentanyl to countries in South Asia like Myanmar.

After fixing its feet in these countries, China while taking informal route transport this deadly drug to countries like Australia, Mexico, and European markets. From there, this drug is then smuggled to countries like the USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Brazil and in limited amounts to Africa, reported the media portal, according to the media portal, Investigative Journalism Reportika.

This Chinese drug menace has laid a great impact on China-US relationship, with the report saying that this issue has more crucial even when compared to the potential of a military conflict over Taiwan.

Thousands of overdose deaths are reported in the US each year from illicit Fentanyl made from Chinese raw materials. It is not that the US has started to see the consequence of this lethal drug recently. US has remained in tight clutches of this drug menace. Since 1999, drug overdoses have killed approximately 1 million Americans.

However, the start of the Chinese supply chain only doubled down on the already bad situation. Since 2012 when synthetic opioids from China began supplying the US demand for illicit opioids overdose deaths have increased.