Mexico's leftist president sent a friendly letter to Xi Jinping asking for China's help with controlling the flow of fentanyl into his country.
In striking, truculent language, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, also known as AMLO, placed all of the blame for the U.S. fentanyl crisis on a "loss of values" in American culture while exonerating both Mexico and China, where most of the fentanyl actually comes from.
"Unjustly, they are blaming us for problems that in large measure have to do with their loss of values, their welfare crisis,” López Obrador wrote to Xi.
AMLO also responded angrily to proposals from Republicans like Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to target Mexican drug cartels using military force, or designate cartels terrorist groups.
“These positions are in themselves a lack of respect and a threat to our sovereignty, and moreover they are based on an absurd, manipulative, propagandistic and demagogic attitude," AMLO wrote.
Fentanyl is a leading cause of death in the U.S, especially among young people. Most fentanyl in U.S. communities is produced in Mexican labs using Chinese materials and then shipped across the U.S. southern border.
In his letter, AMLO angrily rejected denied that fentanyl is produced in Mexico and said only a fraction of fentanyl in the U.S. enters through the U.S.-Mexico border.
"I reiterate that in our country we do not produce fentanyl and that, through our border, only 30 percent of what is consumed in the United States passes,” he said.
Still, AMLO asked Xi for help with controlling the flow of fentanyl (or rather, the chemicals used to manufacture it) into Mexico.
"I write to you, President Xi Jinping, not to ask your help on these rude threats, but to ask you for humanitarian reasons to help us by controlling the shipments of fentanyl,” he wrote.
Republicans have accused President Biden of fueling the fentanyl crisis, which is killing tens of thousands of Americans per year, with lax border enforcement.
Biden's Department of Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mayorkas downplayed the issue at a recent Senate hearing where he was grilled over the administration's policies.
“The scourge of fentanyl is not new. It is not something that was born in 2021. And I can provide you with tens of thousands of deaths that preceded this administration,” Mayorkas said.