Getting caught with drugs is not a good idea, especially in China
By Victoria Saule
Here’s some friendly advice from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs.
Government reports of Australian’s arrested in China for drug possession claim they may face capital punishment as China tries to crackdown on illegal drugs.
In response, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs has changed its travel advice for the 300,000 Australians who travel to China yearly - explicitly warning against the use and possession of illegal drugs.
“Penalties for serious drug offences in China are severe and include the death penalty.” The Australian Travel Advisory now says.
“Foreigners have been executed for drug offences in recent months.”
How many Australians have been arrested, and their identity remains unknown, however the Government referred to the possibility of their execution as “conceivable”.
Two Ugandans were executed in China in July this year for a similar offence.
China, despite having some of the harshest drug laws in the world is renowned for it’s large-scale production of synthetic and opium based drugs, distributed around the infamous Golden Triangle.
In major cities, drugs are allegedly as obtainable as they are in Sydney, with authorities often turning a blind eye to foreigners using drugs in order to avoid paperwork and diplomatic issues.
However, the Chinese media reports that the country has seen as 72% rise in drug related arrests over the past year, after the government stepped up it’s effort to combat the illicit drug trade.
China has a long history with drugs – dating back to the mid 19th century Opium Wars fought against the British.