China asked the United States on Tuesday to immediately revoke a reward of up to US$5 million for the arrest of a Chinese citizen and to stop any smearing and attacking of China so as to create a positive environment for bilateral cooperation on law enforcement.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin made the remark after the US State Department issued a reward on Monday for Zhang Jian, who was described in a news release as a key leader of the transnational criminal Zhang Drug Trafficking Organization.
"We urge the US side to respect facts and truth," Wang said, adding that China believes the identification of transnational drug traffickers must be based on facts and evidence.
The spokesman said the two countries had jointly investigated the case in which Zhang was involved since 2016, and based on the investigation results, the type of substance involved was not yet regulated in China, but classified as ordinary chemicals at that time.
"China has repeatedly asked the US to provide evidence of the Chinese national violating Chinese laws, but it has still not done this," he said.
Wang said that China highly values anti-narcotics cooperation with the US and pays special attention to the country's opioid crisis.
On May 1, 2019, when fentanyl was not a prominent problem in China, the nation took the lead globally in starting to reclassify all fentanyl-like substances in an active effort, undertaken in the spirit of humanitarianism, to help the US address its opioid crisis.
"The US side has expressed its gratitude through various channels and holds the belief that anti-narcotics cooperation is a priority and highlight of China-US cooperation on law enforcement," Wang said.
Wang said that the US' posting of a reward, even though it is well aware that the conditions cannot arise for it to be paid out, will severely undermine the foundation for China-US anti-narcotics cooperation and create obstacles for future cooperation.
"The US must accept any consequence of it," he said.