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Acupuncture to get heritage designation

09-14-2010 11:31 BJT

BEIJING, Sep. 14 (Xinhuanet) -- China is seeking to list acupuncture, the needle therapy of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), as a UNESCO world intangible cultural heritage, said a senior health official.

Wu Gang, deputy director of the State TCM administration, made the remarks on Monday at a press conference to promote TCM at the grassroots level in China.

"The country, in fact, filed the application last year and is now waiting for the result," he said.

The status, once granted, will improve the awareness and popularity of acupuncture and TCM as a whole, across the world, said Shen Zhixiang, secretary-general of the World Federation of Acupuncture-Moxibustion Societies based in Beijing. The status also would encourage the protection of the time-honored medical science, Shen said.

China started the process of requesting the status in 2003, he said. "At that time, the country tried to list the entire package of TCM comprising both the medicines and techniques," he noted.

"We changed that approach into a more specific and feasible one, for acupuncture alone," Wu said.

UNESCO gave a warmer welcome to the more specific request, he said.

The listing standards are getting tougher and pickier, he said.

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