It is a fact that while not all drug users and dealers are terrorists, most terrorists and terrorist organisations are involved in the trafficking, trading and taking of dangerous narcotics. But this is just one of the reasons why China should be applauded for sentencing a convicted Canadian drug trafficker to death. While the convicted man seeks to appeal on the grounds of being a “tourist”, the fact of the matter is that if Chinese courts are good enough for American tech giants Apple and Qualcomm to trust over a complex intellectual property/patent dispute, they are clearly trust worthy enough for Ottawa to accept the sentence handed down to a man in a comparatively straightforward narcotics case. Indeed, Canada has not officially challenged the standing conviction of their criminal citizen, but Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has openly stated that he feels capital punishment is not an appropriate sentence for the criminal in question.
During the sentencing, the judge made it clear that the convicted man was not only guilty of running drugs in China but that he was also part of a wider Asia-Pacific drug trafficking ring that planned to smuggle drugs into a number of countries including Australia. This is relevant as it demonstrates that for the narcotics smuggler, disloyalty to the human condition is not stopped by national frontiers.
The dangers that drugs pose to society is well known and yet too few countries are willing to take the steps necessary to end this plague in the only way possible. Most people get into drug trafficking, dealing and taking because they believe they can get away with it. In this sense, crimes relating to narcotics are crimes of opportunity. The only way to stop a crime of opportunity from happening is to make certain that those of shaky conscience who would otherwise be tempted into anti-human behaviour think twice before they cross the threshold between wanting to commit such vile acts and materially committing them. If one knows that death lies at the end of the path that begins with narcotics, the problem that blights so many societies could be dramatically reduced.
This is why for example, ordinary Filipinos have been reported by Gallup as feeling safer since President Rodrigo Duterte instigated a serious nation wide war on drugs in 2016 after having had success with a zero tolerance anti-narcotics model in the city of Davao where Duterte was a long serving Mayor. As the cycle of narco-crime reaches new heights in the United States, Donald Trump has suggested following China’s lead by making drug dealers liable for capital punishment. Trump also praised Duterte’s war against drugs in a widely leaked phone conversation. It was against this background that last year Rodrigo Duterte said the following of Americans who criticise his solid stance against narcotics:
“So Americans, what values are you trying to impose on us? The values of Obama, the values of Trump, or your own national stupidity?
Someday, remember this. One day to your horror (you will realise), your problem is 100 times more serious than what we have”.
While Duterte’s plans to re-introduce capital punishment have been stalled by the obstructionist Philippine Senate, a vast number of other Asian nations beyond China allow for the execution of convicted narcotics criminals.
Within the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the following countries allow for capital punishment for those convicted of drug related criminal acts: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Laos and Brunei. This means that of all the members of ASEAN, only Cambodia and The Philippines currently do not use capital punishment. In Cambodia’s case, the abolition of the death penalty in 1989 was a result of the emotional fallout from the rampages of former dictator Pol Pot, but even so there have been sustained calls in Cambodia for capital punishment to be restored for certain high crimes including drug related offensives – thus bringing the country into line with that of all of its neighbours. Elsewhere in Asia, China, both Korean states, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Iran and almost all of the Arab world execute those convicted of drug offences.
China should therefore be seen as an example to the nations that do not yet offer the harshest deterrent to future narcotics criminals. For those who are naive enough to consider drugs to be an abstract problem, the abject horrors that narcotics and the crime and terrorism associated with drugs create are likely not known through direct experience nor through research. But for those who have had to see cases of murder, rape, arson, bodily mutilation and endless violence at the hands of narcotics criminals, the reasons for eliminating drugs from society becomes all too clear.
While Canada continues to detain the Chinese citizen Meng Wanzhou in spite of the fact that she has not violated any Canadian law, the Canadian Prime Minister now has the audacity to accuse China of being out of order for enforcing its own laws – laws that the convicted Canadian drug trafficker ought to have known before attempting to breach the peace in Chinese society.
As Rodrigo Duterte knows all too well in respect of The Philippines, if society does not eliminate drugs, the drug problem will eventually eliminate society. Therefore, China should be applauded for keeping its own people and others safe. For every less drug dealer on the planet, the world takes one step forward in the battle to create a safer and more peaceful environment for future generations.