Mexico’s AMLO to Talk Fentanyl Crisis in First Meeting With China’s Xi

(Bloomberg) -- Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping this week in their first encounter as both governments try to make progress in tackling the fentanyl crisis that’s plaguing North America.

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AMLO, as the Mexican leader is known, will hold a bilateral with Xi on Nov. 16, a day before a separate meeting with US President Joe Biden, at the APEC summit in San Francisco, Foreign Affairs Minister Alicia Barcena told reporters Tuesday. Lopez Obrador will also meet Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the same event, she said.

Read More: Mexico and China Seek to Stem Deadly Fentanyl Cross-Pacific Flow

The AMLO-Xi meeting comes as a deadly opioid epidemic in the US has increased the pressure from Washington to tackle narco trafficking. China, Mexico and the US have for years pointed blame at one another over the crisis, which has led to thousands of overdose deaths in American cities and increasing violence in Mexico, home to deadly cartel groups.

But more recently Mexico and China have held talks on the topic, with the Latin American government looking to share intelligence about shipments of the drug and its precursors across the Pacific, a person familiar with the conversations told Bloomberg News last month. And Biden and Xi are set to announce a separate agreement in San Francisco that would see Beijing crack down on the manufacture and export of fentanyl, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

Read More: Biden, Xi to Announce China’s Crackdown on Fentanyl Trade

Beyond fentanyl, AMLO plans to use his APEC appearance to discuss other topics including trade, improving border infrastructure, and the structural causes of migration, Barcena said.

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