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Taking a global look at traditional Chinese medicine

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

08-26-2015 16:25 BJT

By Hu Yifeng, research director, Literary Criticism Center, Literary and Art Association

Matthieu Ricci, a famous Jesuit missionary and cultural exchanges’ messenger between China and Western countries in the Ming Dynasty, said that simple traditional Chinese medicine was successful at curing some diseases. Three hundred years later, traditional Chinese medicine has garnered wide recognition from Westerners. 

The Kanglaite anti-cancer injection, a traditional Chinese medicine product, passed a review of the United State Food and Drug Administration on June 27, 2015 and will conduct its third-phrase clinical testing in the US soon. This is the only Chinese medicine that has been independently researched by China and approved to enter the global market.

Recently, the State Council released its Suggestions on Further Promotions of Tourism Investment and Consumption, pushing to expand publicity and international cooperation of Chinese medicine health travel, while opening new global channels for traditional Chinese medicine.

Globalization of traditional Chinese medicine is a nationwide strategy.

For a long time, the Chinese government has worked with the World Health Organization to promote cooperation of traditional medicine with other nations.

The State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine of China has signed 83 cooperation agreements with international organizations since the 1990s. On June 17, The traditional Chinese Medicine Center of Hradec Kralove University Hospital held an unveiling ceremony.

The Ministry of Finance, State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine of China has set up 17 international cooperation projects including the "One Belt One Road" overseas Chinese medicine center, global construction of the Chinese medicine health service industry, international communication of Chinese medicine culture, and construction of a global market standardization system.

Globalization of traditional Chinese medicine is a folk activity. 

Companies and research institutes have explored overseas markets for Chinese medicine products and services. Tongrentang, a traditional Chinese medicine enterprise with more than 300 years of history, has established 110 overseas retail sites.

As people's health concepts have changed, health care products, plant extracts, traditional Chinese medicinal materials, decoction pieces, Chinese patent medicine are more accepted worldwide.

Globalization of traditional Chinese medicine is inevitable.

Medical communications between China and foreign countries have never stopped in the past two thousand years. Traditional Chinese medicine have absorbed foreign medical experiences, meanwhile it has also made outstanding contributions to the world's medical science. 

After the First Opium War erupted in 1840, supporting the "abolishment of Chinese medicine" was popular in the West.

Given China's increasing power and international status, the world has begun to see China and Chinese culture differently with traditional Chinese medicine getting re-assessed again, but in a positive manner. Currently, traditional Chinese medicine has spread to over 160 countries and regions, and some countries had even granted legal status to acupuncture and moxibustion for medical insurance reasons.

Meanwhile, the absence of international standards, legal impediments, trade barriers, and intellectual property rights have all hindered the globalization of traditional Chinese medicine despite it being so beneficial to the entire world.


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.


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