The development of China’s transport links to Southeast Asia has brought more products from the region, but it has also brought illegal drugs.
In a conference on cooperation between southwest China’s Yunnan Province and northern Laos, both sides agreed to speed up logistics trade along the Kunming-Bangkok Road, the most important land artery between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
There is, however, a snag. Gong Huawu, deputy head of the Yunnan provincial border defense troops, said, "Since the Kunming-Bangkok Road was completed last year, we have arrested many suspects trying to smuggle drugs to China.
As trade and personnel exchanges between the two countries increase, we will be facing much heavier anti-drug pressures."
The ‘drug road’ to China is not limited to the Kunming-Bangkok Road. Situated at the juncture of China, Southeast Asia and South Asia, Yunnan has 20 national ports and more than 90 roads to other countries. Highways from Kunming to Rangoon, Myanmar and Hanoi, Vietnam have been upgraded.
An anti-drug officer who declined to give his name, said, "To ensure smooth transportation, no new anti-drug checkpoints were set up on these highways. Their absence provides opportunities for drug-traffickers. The international drug-smugglers usually collect a certain amount of drugs along the border and then transport them to China by highway."
China View reported that to cut off drugs at the source, China is promoting a substitute planting strategy, which encourages farmers to cultivate cash crops such as grain, rubber, tea and sugar cane in the Golden Triangle region.