Na­tion to open 20 over­seas tra­di­tional medicine cen­ters

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By SHAN JUAN in Bei­jing shan­juan@chi­

China plans to open about 20 Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine col­lab­o­ra­tion cen­ters over­seas this year, ac­cord­ing to a se­nior TCM of­fi­cial.

The aim is to open the cen­ters in coun­tries and re­gions cov­ered by China’s Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive to en­able the med­i­cal sci­ence to ben­e­fit more peo­ple, the of­fi­cial said.

Wang Xiaopin, di­rec­tor of the In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion Depart­ment at the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine, made the re­marks in an in­ter­view with China Daily.

To date , TCM has been pro­moted in more than 180 coun­tries and re­gions, and the Chi­nese govern­ment has signed high-level co­op­er­a­tion mem­o­ran­dums with 83 coun­tries, Wang said.

A great num­ber of th­ese coun­tries fall un­der the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, a vi­sion Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping put for­ward in 2013 to boost in­ter­con­nec­tiv­ity and com­mon de­vel­op­ment along the an­cient land and mar­itime Silk Roads.

“The cen­ters will bet­ter meet lo­cal de­mand for TCM ser­vices and prod­ucts among the pub­lic and also help with to pro­mote TCM abroad,” she said.

To fi­nance the ini­tia­tive, the cen­tral govern­ment launched a spe­cial fund last year with pri­mary in­vest­ment of 20 mil­lion yuan ($3 mil­lion).

Wang stressed that the fund is not a char­ity pro­gram.

She said the cen­ters will be based on the var­i­ous needs for TCM in dif­fer­ent coun­tries and will re­quire lo­cal part­ners.

Th­ese part­ners could in­clude hospi­tals, re­search in­sti­tu­tions and the over­seas phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try. “It all de­pends on the de­mands and var­i­ous prac­ti­cal sit­u­a­tions in th­ese coun­tries, in­clud­ing the le­gal sta­tus of TCM,” she said.

About 300,000 Chi­nese TCM prac­ti­tion­ers are work­ing world­wide, ac­cord­ing to the ad­min­is­tra­tion. The in­ter­na­tional mar­ket for TCM prod­ucts and ser­vices is val­ued at $50 bil­lion.

More than 10,000 for­eign­ers ar­rive in China each year to learn TCM. Bei­jing, Shang­hai and Guang­dong prov­ince are their top des­ti­na­tions.

Gao Si­hua, for­mer pres­i­dent of Bei­jing Univer­sity of Chi­nese Medicine, said the univer­sity has held many short-term TCM train­ing cour­ses for for­eign­ers. “They are mostly in­ter­ested in tech­niques such as acupunc­ture and mas­sage,” he said, adding that China still lacks pro­fes­sion­als with a good com­mand of both TCM and English.

Wang Xiaopin

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