China police chief, US homeland security head discuss law enforcement cooperation

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Minister of Public Security Wang Xiaohong held a video call with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Thursday, with both agreeing to maintain communication on counter-narcotics and law enforcement cooperation, according to Chinese state media.

Wang said the two countries need to deepen cooperation in areas such as drug control, repatriation of illegal immigrants, and combating transnational crime, in order to achieve more results in law enforcement cooperation, Xinhua news reported on Friday.

The two met earlier this year with other senior U.S. and Chinese officials to discuss cooperating on law enforcement concerns including the illicit flow of synthetic drugs such as fentanyl. The two countries later launched a joint counter-narcotics working group to tackle the spread of fentanyl.

The United States has said China is directly subsidizing production of illicit fentanyl precursors for sale abroad and fuelling the U.S. opioid crisis.

China's embassy in Washington had said China was sincere in drug control cooperation with U.S. authorities and had a special campaign underway to control fentanyl and precursor chemicals and crack down on illegal smuggling, manufacturing, and trafficking activities.

(Reporting by Bernard Orr and Shanghai newsroom; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)