Bargaining with the Beast: U.S.-China Efforts to Curb the Fentanyl Epidemic 

Over 1 million Americans have died from drug overdoses since 2000, with some 70-80% of these deaths involving a fatal dose of the synthetic opioid fentanyl. Fentanyl is the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 18 and 45. In 2023, the U.S. government seized 77 million fentanyl pills and nearly 12,000 pounds of fentanyl powder. These record seizures represent enough to kill every American. At the heart of this crisis are precursor chemicals, almost exclusively manufactured and exported from China to the Mexican Sinaloa and Jalisco cartel organizations. China likely views this complex intersection of public health and international relations as a bargaining chip to gain concessions from the U.S. 

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Navigating the Waters: China’s Strategic Gambit in Djibouti

China’s investments in Djibouti represent a pivotal moment for U.S. interests in a global maritime nexus. The establishment of China’s first overseas military base, coupled with expansive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects, underscores the tangible manifestations of China’s ambitions in the region. These developments are significant not only for their potential to alter regional power dynamics, but also for enabling China to project its military power more effectively and enhance its intelligence-gathering capabilities near U.S. and allied forces. Moreover, the risk of Djibouti falling into a debt trap, unable to repay Chinese loans, could lead to critical infrastructure falling under Chinese control, compounding the challenges faced by the U.S. in maintaining its influence and safeguarding its interests in this maritime corridor.

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Uncovering State-Sponsored Disinformation: Inside a Chinese Influence Campaign

Collaborating with Clemson University’s Media Forensics Hub, 3GIMBALS uncovered a widespread Chinese state-sponsored disinformation campaign spreading false narratives about COVID-19’s origins. Using advanced data science techniques, our team discovered over 200 viral memes across 20 online platforms targeting specific individuals. The quality and scope indicated a state-sponsored campaign which we definitively tied to mainland China through studying metadata, technical fingerprints, and geolocation data pointing to an apartment complex in Yulin, China. This enabled public exposure of the disinformation without compromising sensitive government sources. Read the full article to learn more about this analysis and see examples of the uncovered graphics.

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Chinese Economic Investments Advance Security Cooperation in the Solomon Islands

In November 2023, the Solomon Islands plays host to the Pacific Games for the first time. The expanding economic influence of China in the Solomons, evident behind the scenes with infrastructure investments and construction for these games, reflects growing concerns for Pacific Island nations across the region. 3GIMBALS’ OMENTM solution investigates interconnections between Chinese economic […]

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3GIMBALS Releases Synthetic Narcotics Precursor Sales Dashboard

3GIMBALS today released its cutting-edge Synthetic Narcotics Precursor Chemical Seller Dashboard Prototype—a game-changing tool that brings innovation and precision to the counternarcotics fight.  This dashboard redefines the landscape of narcotics supply chain analysis with an interactive interface, crafted to unveil intricate connections between precursor chemicals, sellers, exporters, export ports and destinations.  Click on any element […]

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Exposing the Human Impacts of China’s Distant Water Fishing Fleet

China’s distant water fishing fleet has inflicted immeasurable harm on the global community, in particular nations across the global south. The global fish stock is in decline as China amasses a distant water fishing fleet that dwarfs its competition. The United Nations estimates that almost 90 percent of the global marine fish stocks are depleted, […]

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