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Interview: Belt and Road initiative opens up opportunity for TCM to go global
2016-07-27    

by Lan Xi, Yan Feng, Tang Zhiqiang

BERLIN, July 16 (Xinhua) -- The Belt and Road Initiative opens up genuine opportunities for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to go global and thus benefits more people, Zhang Boli, academic of Chinese Academy of Engineering and president of China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences (CACMS), told Xinhua during a CACMS delegation's visit to Hanover Medical School (MHH).

The visit follows up the Action Plan of Sino-German Health Cooperation and its memorandum of cooperation signed during the state visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the fourth Chinese-German government consultation in Beijing.

Zhang said Europe boasts a long history and presents greater inclusion for natural medicine such as botanic drugs, and alternative therapies including TCM. There has been already much research in this regard. China has conducted TCM exchanges with Germany and Europe for years, forming a certain basis for TCM cooperation for both sides.

Zhang himself has been active in promoting academic exchanges in Germany and other European countries for many times. He said he noticed a clear trend over the past years: an increasing number of Europeans are taking a keen interest in TCM and gaining a deeper insight into its philosophy.

In the past, exchanges merely stayed at the level of getting to know each other and now, substantive cooperation at operational level in TCM is taking shape, he said.

With the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative picking up speed, both Chinese and German governments attach great importance to deepening cooperation in TCM, providing golden opportunity for TCM to go global, the Chinese academic said.

Zhang said that about the exchanges and cooperation in TCM between CACMS and MHH, both sides have found out areas to start with, including personnel training, scientific research and clinical practice.

Talking about the modernization of TCM, Zhang told Xinhua that outstanding medical researchers, represented by Nobel prize winner Tu Youyou, have made remarkable contributions to the healthcare cause of mankind.

Moreover, Zhang said talent training still remains a bottleneck for TCM development, urging efforts to "advance with the times" to cultivate more TCM talents.

The mode of combining academic education and master-disciple training system proves an effective way to address the problem of talent shortage, he said.

(From Xinhua, 2016-07-27)