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Report: China a Major Source of Crystal Meth Shipped Into US

FILE - A U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration technician holds several pounds of Mexican meth confiscated in the St. Louis area, Sept. 7, 2012.

China has become a major source of methamphetamine transported into the United States from Mexico, according to a congressional commission.

“While Mexican cartels produce the majority [around 90 percent] of meth used in the United States, around 80 percent of precursor chemicals used in Mexican meth come from China,” said a report issued Monday by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

“Precursor chemicals are increasingly being shipped from China to Mexico and Central America, where they are manufactured into meth, transported across the southern border of the United States, and brought into southwestern states — Texas, Arizona and California — before being shipped across the country," it said, adding that China has become a major global supplier of crystal meth precursor chemicals.

While Beijing has tried to reduce domestic meth production and curb precursor chemical exports, the report said, its vast pharmaceutical and chemical industries remain largely unregulated.

"As a result, meth precursor chemical flows — along with other dangerous synthetic drugs — from China into the Western Hemisphere continue to increase, contributing to a growing drug problem in the United States," it said.

The report recommended that U.S. legislators consider measures to encourage China to modify its laws governing chemical exports, and that they encourage the U.S. government to strengthen cooperation with China on drug control issues.

Congress established the USCC in 2000 to monitor and investigate national security and trade issues between the the U.S. and China.

This report was produced in collaboration with VOA's Mandarin service.