Euro­pean TCM Devel­op­ment and Pro­mo­tion Cen­ter: In­ter­na­tional Plat­form for Chi­nese Medicine

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS - Trans­lated by Su Yi­long, pol­ished by Mark Zuiderveld

TCM cul­ture is a com­po­nent and car­rier of tra­di­tional Chi­nese cul­ture. The es­tab­lish­ment of the cen­tre of­fers new med­i­cal treat­ment for Euro­peans.

Gen­tle ocean breezes from the Mediter­ranean Sea blow in the sunny sea­side city of Barcelona, and a pleas­ant cli­mate nour­ishes this land, mak­ing it a pearl of the Mediter­ranean re­gion. As the cap­i­tal of the Cat­alo­nia re­gion, Barcelona is a charm­ing city, not only world- fa­mous city for foot­ball, Olympic Games and tourism, but even a city of tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine ( TCM).

On Jan­uary 27, 2016, the Bei­jing Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine Ad­min­is­tra­tion Bureau and the Min­istry of Knowl­edge Econ­omy of the Cat­alo­nia Re­gion signed a frame­work agree­ment on the co­op­er­a­tion of Euro­pean TCM Devel­op­ment and Pro­mo­tion Cen­ter.

Driven by the Chi­nese and the Span­ish gov­ern­ments, the Univer­sity of Barcelona, the high­est in­sti­tu­tion in Spain, es­tab­lished a pro­fes­sional TCM ma­jor, which is cur­rently the only ma­jor that pro­vides a mas­ter's de­gree in TCM rec­og­nized by the Euro­pean Union (EU). As Spain's most au­thor­i­ta­tive hos­pi­tal, Barcelona Clin­i­cal Hos­pi­tal also opened a “TCM Treat­ment Cen­tre” with a to­tal area of more than 600 square me­tres. TCM di­ag­no­sis and treat­ment co­op­er­a­tion can be car­ried out here, where TCM and TCM doc­tors en­joy

the same sta­tus as any other medicine and doc­tors. The two coun­tries will work to­gether to make the Euro­pean TCM Devel­op­ment and Pro­mo­tion Cen­ter an in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned TCM brand and ser­vice agency in­te­grat­ing TCM treat­ment, health care, ed­u­ca­tion, sci­en­tific re­search, trade, cul­tural ex­changes and con­sult­ing. By pro­mot­ing di­ag­no­sis and treat­ment of TCM and its so­cial in­flu­ence, ex­changes be­tween the East and the West in eco­nomic, cul­tural and so­cial fields will be im­proved, and broader strate­gic co­op­er­a­tion on TCM ap­pli­ca­tion in the EU and the world will be achieved.

Ex­plor­ing TCM

In May 2014, on the Sec­ond China Bei­jing In­ter­na­tional Fair for Trade in Ser­vices, Bei­jing Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine Ad­min­is­tra­tion Bureau and Min­istry of Knowl­edge Econ­omy of the Cat­alo­nia Re­gion signed a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing of the co­op­er­a­tion for es­tab­lish­ing Euro­pean TCM Devel­op­ment and Pro­mo­tion Cen­ter in the Knowl­edge Eco­nomic Zone in Barcelona.

In Novem­ber 2014, Bei­jing Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine Ad­min­is­tra­tion Bureau and the Min­istry of Com­merce and Labour of the Cat­alo­nia Gov­ern­ment in Spain as well as the City Coun­cil of Barcelona signed the Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing on the co­op­er­a­tion of the cen­tre in the Royal Palace of Barcelona.

The Euro­pean TCM Devel­op­ment and Pro­mo­tion Cen­ter is an in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion project; ev­ery step for­ward is filled with un­remit­ting ef­forts and de­ter­mi­na­tion to ex­plore for the Chi­nese and western gov­ern­ments. Start­ing in Spain, the project will spread through­out Europe, cov­er­ing five ar­eas. In ed­u­ca­tion, the project aims to achieve co­op­er­a­tion be­tween uni­ver­si­ties on two sides, carry out TCM ed­u­ca­tion with diploma, train those skilled in TCM, is­sue of­fi­cial diplo­mas, and en­sure that qual­i­fied grad­u­ates have ac­cess to the EU and pro­fes­sional physi­cians. In med­i­cal ser­vices, the two coun­tries will jointly set up a TCM model hos­pi­tal to pro­vide TCM treat­ment ser­vices; health care, re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and other ser­vices will be in­cluded in the Cat­alo­nia re­gional health and in­sur­ance. In sci­en­tific re­search, the two coun­tries will es­tab­lish TCM re­search in­sti­tu­tions in Barcelona, and grad­u­ally es­tab­lish a data­base of TCM re­search lit­er­a­ture and the TCM re­search lab­o­ra­tory to con­duct sys­tem­atic re­search on TCM. In trade, the im­port li­cense for TCM, Chi­nese patent medicine, TCM gran­ules and TCM cer­ti­fi­ca­tion should be ob­tained as soon as pos­si­ble to pro­mote the progress of TCM to join in the Span­ish ba­sic med­i­cal sys­tem, and help TCM en­ter the EU mar­ket. In cul­ture, the two coun­tries will es­tab­lish a TCM cul­tural ex­change cen­tre in Barcelona, cre­ate a plat­form for in­ter­na­tional ex­changes of TCM cul­ture, carry out pub­lic­ity cam­paigns on cul­ture in medicine, food, health, leisure and so on. Tak­ing the TCM in­dus­try as a cen­tre of in­flu­ence, the two coun­tries will pro­mote devel­op­ment of tourism, the cul­ture in­dus­try, ser­vice in­dus­try and other re­lated in­dus­tries to bet­ter serve eco­nomic devel­op­ment.

“TCM can best re­flect the core of Chi­nese cul­ture; it is also an im­por­tant car­rier of cul­ture. TCM'S global jour­ney is of great sig­nif­i­cance for the Sino-eu cul­tural ex­changes and co­op­er­a­tion.” The deputy di­rec­tor of Bei­jing Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine Ad­min­is­tra­tion Bureau said that af­ter our coun­try is­sued the Belt and Road strat­egy, they also put for­ward a sim­i­lar devel­op­ment strat­egy for TCM to help es­tab­lish overseas TCM cen­tres and pro­mote TCM at a na­tional level. “The co­op­er­a­tion has very good prospects.”

Pre­vi­ously, TCM has been spread to 183 coun­tries and re­gions. China and for­eign gov­ern­ments, re­gional and in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tion have signed 86 TCM co­op­er­a­tion agree­ments. The project of Euro­pean TCM Devel­op­ment and Pro­mo­tion Cen­ter ad­heres to the Belt and Road prin­ci­ples, shar­ing and build­ing to­gether, and fol­lows in the Silk Road spirit of peace­ful co­op­er­a­tion, open­ness and tol­er­ance, mu­tual learn­ing and mu­tual ben­e­fits. There­fore, it has be­come a high-pro­file in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion TCM project.

Solve Dif­fi­cult Dis­eases, Ben­e­fit Peo­ple

As the first sub-project, TCM Mas­ter Pro­gram was launched on Oc­to­ber 21, 2016. This pro­gram was jointly launched by Bei­jing Univer­sity of Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine, Univer­sity of Barcelona and Univer­si­tat Pom­peu Fabra. Af­ter two years of study and pass­ing the grad­u­a­tion the­sis de­fence, stu­dents will re­ceive the mas­ter's de­gree

of TCM of­fi­cially recog­nised by Bei­jing Univer­sity of Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine and Univer­sity of Barcelona and Univer­si­tat Pom­peu Fabra. It is also the only mas­ter's de­gree pro­gramme in Chi­nese medicine now of­fi­cially recog­nised by the EU. At present, the first stu­dents are all Span­ish doc­tors in Western medicine who have com­pleted cour­ses in­clud­ing ba­sic the­ory of TCM, di­ag­nos­tics, merid­i­ans, acupunc­ture, mox­i­bus­tion and oth­ers.

Can na­tive doc­tors trained in Western medicine ac­cept TCM cul­ture, or even go be­yond the dif­fer­ences be­tween Chi­nese and Western medicine in the learn­ing process? This dilemma has al­ways con­cerned project di­rec­tor Li Jiang­bin at the Euro­pean Devel­op­ment and Pro­mo­tion Cen­tre of Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine. Af­ter a team of teach­ers in Barcelona from Bei­jing Univer­sity of Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine sent back in­for­ma­tion, his con­cerns were dis­pelled.

“Europe has ev­i­dence-based medicine. Tra­di­tional medicine from dif­fer­ent coun­tries con­verge there.” Li Jiang­bin ex­plained with in­ter­est, “These stu­dents have rich clin­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence in Western medicine and they will bring clin­i­cal prob­lems to the class­room. Prob­lems such as chronic dis­eases, hy­per­ten­sion, hy­per­lip­i­daemia, re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion ther­apy and so on are dif­fi­cult to solve with Western medicine but are eas­ier solved with TCM.

Western doc­tors are will­ing to learn TCM as an al­ter­na­tive. To pro­vide the best qual­ity teach­ers to lo­cal grad­u­ate stu­dents, China has sent lead­ing teach­ers from Bei­jing Univer­sity of Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine to teach in English.

TCM is not only favoured by the med­i­cal doc­tors in Spain, but also needed by lo­cal peo­ple. As a co­op­er­a­tive unit of the project, Barcelona Clin­i­cal Hos­pi­tal will launch Chi­nese medicine out­pa­tient ser­vice in June this year. At this stage, the out­pa­tient ser­vices mainly in­clude acupunc­ture, mas­sage and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, with a ward cov­er­ing an area of 665 square me­tres.

“Barcelona Clin­i­cal Hos­pi­tal is Spain's num­ber one hos­pi­tal. Lo­cals are con­vinced due to new ser­vices from such an au­thor­i­ta­tive hos­pi­tal. Peo­ple al­ways ask about when a Chi­nese medicine clinic would open and whether they can en­joy the new ser­vice.” Li Jiang­bin said.

Af­ter open­ing the Chi­nese medicine clinic and ward, the med­i­cal expenses will be grad­u­ally in­cor­po­rated into lo­cal health in­sur­ance, so that lo­cal peo­ple can en­joy the ben­e­fits of TCM treat­ments. Li said that the first step is to let peo­ple who have pri­vate health in­sur­ance and a part of those who have the com­mer­cial in­sur­ance en­joy TCM ser­vices; then, we have ne­go­ti­ated with the lo­cal peo­ple, and agreed that expenses of treat­ing these dis­eases with ev­i­den­tial ef­fects can be in­cor­po­rated into lo­cal health in­sur­ance af­ter sim­ple ver­i­fi­ca­tion, so that even or­di­nary pa­tients can en­joy these ser­vices. “This step must be com­pleted this year”; the third step is to fol­low up with ef­fec­tive Chi­nese dis­eases. Ev­ery time when a new dis­ease is dis­cov­ered, clin­i­cal re­search will be car­ried out si­mul­ta­ne­ously, and their ef­fi­cacy will be con­firmed un­der mu­tual su­per­vi­sion so that expenses can be in­cor­po­rated into health in­sur­ance.

Lo­cal Devel­op­ment Earns Trust

As an im­por­tant part of the project, the es­tab­lish­ment of Joint Re­search Cen­tre for Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine is the first step in the TCM re­search, in­clud­ing the es­tab­lish­ment of co­op­er­a­tion plat­form for TCM re­search, joint lab­o­ra­to­ries and post-doc­toral work­sta­tions. Re­search of TCM in­ter­ven­tion ther­apy for ma­jor dis­eases should be car­ried out to pro­mote its ap­pli­ca­tion in the EU pub­lic health sys­tem. In-depth stud­ies of Chi­nese herbal medicine cul­ti­va­tion, phar­ma­col­ogy, ap­pli­ca­tion, in­no­va­tion, con­ver­sion and other as­pects al­low­ing Chi­nese herbal medicine to be cer­ti­fied in Europe, doc­u­mented in phar­ma­copoeia and widely used. This also helps Chi­nese herbal medicine en­ter the EU mar­ket, lead­ing sci­en­tific re­search, per­son­nel train­ing and busi­ness co­op­er­a­tion in the field. At present, con­ver­sa­tions have been car­ried out with the Re­search Cen­tre of Univer­sity of Barcelona, Barcelona Agri­cul­tural Ge­nomics Re­search Cen­tre, School of Phar­macy of Barcelona Univer­sity and other re­search cen­tres, with pre­lim­i­nary con­sen­sus reached on es­tab­lish­ing joint re­search cen­tres and lab­o­ra­to­ries.

Lo­cal sci­en­tific data is ob­tained through the sci­en­tific re­search and clin­i­cal tri­als in Spain, so that TCM can achieve ef­fect in lo­cal

set­tings un­der the mu­tual su­per­vi­sion of both sides. There­fore, TCM will gain a high de­gree of trust among lo­cals, and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal dosage and treat­ment meth­ods will change ac­cord­ingly.

At this stage, sev­eral units were in­volved in the project in Spain, par­tic­u­larly in co­op­er­a­tion with Barcelona Agri­cul­tural Ge­nomics Re­search Cen­tre on agri­cul­ture to study the con­ver­sion of lo­cal herbs into TCM. They fa­cil­i­tate the cul­ti­va­tion of Chi­nese herbal medicine and the es­tab­lish­ment of lo­cal Chi­nese phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies.

Li Jiang­bin said, “The lo­cal­i­sa­tion of TCM is im­por­tant be­cause it can re­duce costs while win­ning the trust of the peo­ple. Through ed­u­ca­tion, the lo­cal­i­sa­tion of doc­tors can be achieved, and peo­ple can en­joy a high ef­fi­ciency and low price ser­vice model; through in­cor­po­rat­ing the di­ag­no­sis and treat­ment fees into in­sur­ance, the lo­cal­i­sa­tion of med­i­cal sys­tem can be achieved, and ev­ery­body can en­joy TCM; through sci­en­tific re­search, the lo­cal­i­sa­tion of Chi­nese herbal medicine cul­ti­va­tion and pro­duc­tion can be achieved, the costs can be re­duced ef­fec­tively, and new mar­kets can be opened up. China and Spain can achieve win-win co­op­er­a­tion.”

Cul­tural Ex­change with Ad­vanced Model

The cul­ture of TCM is an im­por­tant part and a car­rier of Chi­nese tra­di­tional cul­ture, con­tain­ing a Chi­nese un­der­stand­ing of the world and their tra­di­tional phi­los­o­phy. The Euro­pean TCM Devel­op­ment and Pro­mo­tion Cen­ter is not only a TCM ser­vice or­gan­i­sa­tion, but pro­vides new med­i­cal meth­ods for Euro­peans, but also forms a new base of lo­cal med­i­cal knowl­edge, thereby pro­vid­ing a path for oth­ers to un­der­stand Chi­nese cul­ture.

Project in­vestor Zhang Yang be­lieves why such a large and com­plex project can progress so smoothly is be­cause of the adop­tion of PPP (Pub­lic-pri­vate Part­ner­ship). The gov­ern­ment has is­sued poli­cies to guide over­all co­or­di­na­tion of var­i­ous re­sources and man­power, and built a broad plat­form for in­vestors. Bei­jing Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine Ad­min­is­tra­tion Bureau has gath­ered pro­fes­sional staff and sci­en­tific re­search done at the Bei­jing Univer­sity of Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine, Bei­jing Kuan­jie Hos­pi­tal of Chi­nese Medicine, and China Academy of Chi­nese Med­i­cal Sciences to sup­port the project. The Barcelona Gov­ern­ment has also in­te­grated re­sources from the Univer­sity of Barcelona and Barcelona Hos­pi­tal, and pro­vided land, of­fice space, pref­er­en­tial poli­cies, and other com­mer­cial in­ter­faces. The project quickly con­nects Chi­nese herbal plan­ta­tions, tourism and ed­u­ca­tion of Chi­nese medicine, re­search and train­ing, soon to cre­ate value.

“With the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the project, we have learned valu­able lessons. First, west­ern­ers' need for Chi­nese medicine has put more con­fi­dence in Chi­nese. Com­pared with the state gov­ern­ment, the pro­mo­tion of TCM by the lo­cal gov­ern­ment is a wor­thy choice be­cause it is much eas­ier; sec­ond, com­pared with the orig­i­nal pro­mo­tion that is purely driven by the pri­vate cap­i­tal, the in­te­gra­tion of medicine, teach­ing and re­search is more de­sir­able; third, at this stage, the PPP model is the only right choice for TCM to en­ter for­eign coun­tries. The signed agree­ments be­tween the coun­tries in the past were un­able to be ex­e­cuted be­cause there was no so­cial cap­i­tal. Now, with the fol­low-up of cap­i­tal and in­te­gra­tion of re­sources, the im­ple­men­ta­tion will be bet­ter.” Li Jiang­bin said.

With an ex­cel­lent model, TCM cul­ture is bound to be ir­re­sistible in Europe. TCM leg­is­la­tion and its le­gal sta­tus have now been put on the agenda. Ideas of overseas re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, tra­di­tional Chi­nese med­i­cal tourism, and TCM mu­se­ums will also be put into prac­tice.

“When our project has earned cer­tain rep­u­ta­tion and demon­strated in­flu­ence, we can slowly step out of Spain, and the suc­cess­ful model can be copied di­rectly to cover the whole Europe.” Li Jiang­bin in­tro­duced with ex­cite­ment. In the sec­ond round of preen­rol­ment for a TCM study, 30 stu­dents were re­ceived. Some of them are even from other Span­ish speak­ing coun­tries like Colom­bia and Cuba. In the fu­ture, Chi­nese medicine will spread to French and English-speak­ing ar­eas.

The core of the Belt and Road is the con­nec­tion of the peo­ple's hearts and the con­nec­tion of the roads, fur­ther es­tab­lish­ing ties be­tween China and the world and strength­en­ing ex­changes. The Euro­pean TCM Devel­op­ment and Pro­mo­tion Cen­ter will pro­mote China's global in­flu­ence and the eco­nomic and cul­tural devel­op­ment of lo­cal ar­eas. Euro­peans will soon en­joy un­lim­ited ben­e­fits through this project, with tra­di­tional Chi­nese cul­ture gain­ing more in­flu­ence in the western world.

The Bei­jing TCM delegation ne­go­ti­ates with Span­ish gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and ex­perts.

The Euro­pean TCM Devel­op­ment and Pro­mo­tion Cen­ter Project Of­fice was founded.

A con­fer­ence on TCM

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