US President Donald Trump has praised China’s use of the death penalty for drug smugglers and even appeared to suggest that capital punishment might be a good way to “end the drug problem” in the US.
During a speech on border security at the White House on Friday, Trump said that “tremendous amounts of fentanyl” were being smuggled into the United States, much of which is produced in China.
Trump told reporters that during a meeting on trade, he asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to “declare it [fentanyl] a lethal drug and put it on your criminal list.” China’s laws are “much tougher” than US laws, Trump explained, while saying that “70,000 Americans were killed by drugs including meth and heroin, cocaine [and] fentanyl.”
Trump explains that he'd like American drug laws to be more like China's, where drug dealers receive the death penalty. pic.twitter.com/sBo7EAnaN0
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 15, 2019
Trump said Xi told him there was no such drug issue in China because "we give death penalty to people that sell drugs, end of problem.”
The president asserted that Xi agreed to put fentanyl on China's list of deadly drugs and give it a criminal penalty, meaning the death sentence. Trump said the decision was one of the things he was “most excited” about in a trade deal that is currently being negotiated.
Twitter quickly freaked out at what many took for Trump suggesting that the US should be more like China.'
Read more: Did Trump just suggest the death penalty for drug dealers? Twitter freaks out