The Chinese Heroin TradeCross-Border Drug Trafficking in Southeast Asia and Beyond

The Chinese Heroin TradeCross-Border Drug Trafficking in Southeast Asia and Beyond

Ko-lin Chin and Sheldon X. Zhang

Print publication date: 2016

ISBN: 9781479895403

Publisher: NYU Press

Abstract

In a country long associated with the trade in opiates, the Chinese government has for decades applied extreme measures to curtail the spread of illicit drugs, only to find that the problem has worsened. Burma is blamed as the major producer of illicit drugs and conduit for the entry of drugs into China. Which organizations are behind the heroin trade? What problems and prospects of drug control in the so-called “Golden Triangle” drug-trafficking region are faced by Chinese and Southeast Asian authorities? This book examines the social organization of the trafficking of heroin from the Golden Triangle to China and the wholesale and retail distribution of the drug in China. Based on face-to-face interviews with hundreds of incarcerated drug traffickers, street-level drug dealers, users, and authorities, paired with extensive fieldwork in the border areas of Burma and China and several major urban centers in China and Southeast Asia, the book reveals how the drug trade has evolved in the Golden Triangle since the late 1980s. It also explores the marked characteristics of heroin traffickers; the relationship between drug use and sales in China; and how China compares to other international drug markets.