China will further explore the use of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to address health issues and develop TCM services trade, said guests at the 2021 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS).
Chen Zhu, vice chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, called for making TCM cooperation part of the Belt and Road Initiative to allow it playing a bigger role in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chen made the remarks in a video speech at the opening ceremony of the fourth Belt and Road Forum for TCM Development, which was held Sunday in Beijing on the sidelines of the recently concluded CIFTIS.
Huang Luqi, deputy head of National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, said at the same occasion that China has exchanged TCM clinical experience with about 150 countries and regions, provided TCM products to more than 10 countries and regions based on their demands, and sent TCM doctors to 28 countries and regions to help fight the pandemic.
Huang noted that TCM service trade institutions have consolidated and expanded their business globally through developing telemedicine and distance education.
In May, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) and the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine jointly issued a circular supporting the development of national export bases of TCM services.
As one of the first bases, Guang'anmen Hospital affiliated to the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, located in Beijing, has set up online diagnosis and treatment services covering the United States, Canada, Japan and some European countries, and has served hundreds of overseas COVID-19 patients.
Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Bingnan said during the CIFTIS that by the end of this year, the MOC and the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine will expand the list of export bases.
Beijing supports outstanding domestic TCM institutions to set up TCM centers overseas in cooperation with local institutions to provide TCM treatment and health care services, said Du Feijin, deputy director of Beijing Municipal People's Congress Standing Committee, during the CIFTIS.
Huang Junhua, vice chairman of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, said that Guangxi and ASEAN countries have a broad foundation and prospects for cooperation in the field of traditional medicine, as they are geologically close and share similar cultural backgrounds and spectra of diseases.
Guangxi's medical institutions have launched TCM services in hospitals in Cambodia and Laos, and have signed cooperation agreements with hospitals in Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand to provide TCM services to the local people, he added.
This year's CIFTIS, held from Sept. 2-7, attracted more than 12,000 enterprises. Representatives from 153 countries and regions signed up for the event, according to the MOC.