Methamphetamine, ecstasy, heroin - there are mountains of it, as drug culture is quickly expanding in China. We're going to rarely seen places of this changing environment as correspondents investigate the other China's boom, one that probably leads all the way to our own front yard. This is distant and exciting territory.
The border between China and its developing neighbor, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) is thousands of kilometers long. You might expect big fences and armed guards on watch, but there the borders of countries mean very little to people who were transiting and blending for eons.
There's a fast-moving trade there. Myanmar has been opening up and China is constantly increasing its wealth. Yet to buy Chinese merchandise, poor Burmese farmers need lot of money and in order to acquire that amount of money some are ready and willing to smuggle a very hazardous baggage to the north. With no authorities in sight, the potential to transport banned drugs across the border is evidently substantial.
Myanmar has long been a dominant place of origin of the world's heroin. Now, on top of that, there are new drugs getting out of there and via China they're ending up as far away as Australia. In this documentary we'll pursue the drugs and we'll measure the size of a problem treated so serious it's currently led to joint operations by Australian and Chinese authorities.
The number of labs which produce drugs has skyrocketed. In other words, they were once making heroin but now they've altered to deliver ice-type drugs, amphetamine-type drugs. Myanmar's raised ice production is in straightforward reaction to Chinese consumption. The reason is simple - supply and demand. There are so many people in China who are selling drugs.
The number of Chinese drug dealers is in exponential rise and drug producers and smugglers in Myanmar found a way to establish networks with them. There are also a lot of unspotted, invisible drug consumers. There's a huge market, otherwise they wouldn't make those drugs in the first place.