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U.S. Removes China, Vietnam from List of Drug Countries

The White House says President Bush has removed China and Vietnam from the U.S. government's list of major drug-transit or drug-producing countries.

In a statement, Thursday, the White House did not specifically say what led the president to make his decision. However, it noted that the decision-making process requires the president to consider a country's performance in areas such as reducing narcotics production.

The president is required to report annually to Congress on countries that the U.S. government says are major drug-transiting or drug-producing nations. This year's list names Afghanistan, The Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela.

The White House says Burma and Venezuela "failed demonstrably" to adhere to their obligations under international anti-narcotics agreements.

However, the statement says the president is determined to maintain U.S. programs that aid Venezuela's democratic institutions, establish selected community development projects and strengthen the country's political party system.