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Chinese medicine can do a lot of things by leveraging the “Belt and Road”

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In the past 30 years, the traditional medicine service trade along the “Belt and Road” has quietly emerged and has formed a certain scale. With the advancement of foreign exchange and cooperation in Chinese medicine, the cognitive methods and treatment concepts of Chinese medicine for health and disease are coming. The more recognized by the international community, the opportunity for the continued development of Chinese medicine service trade.

What impact will the “Belt and Road” have on the development of Chinese medicine? What challenges will you face? To this end, the "Economic Information Daily" reporter interviewed Huang Zhenhui, director of the Traditional Medicine International Exchange Center of the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

“The “One Belt, One Road” has created opportunities for international cooperation in Chinese medicine”

On May 7, the General Office of the State Council issued a notice on the issuance of the Chinese Medicine Health Service Development Plan (2015-2020). The plan is China's first national-level plan for the development of Chinese medicine health services. The plan proposes that Chinese medicine will participate in the construction of the “Belt and Road”. The State Council will select sustainable development projects and conduct exchanges and cooperation with Chinese medicine along the Silk Road Economic Belt and countries along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road to enhance the international influence of Chinese medicine health services.

In this regard, Huang Zhenhui said that the proposal of the “One Belt, One Road” strategic concept fits the common needs of countries along the route and opens a new window of opportunity for complementary and open development of countries along the route. It is a new platform for international cooperation. It will be Central Asia, The links between South Asia, Southeast Asia and West Asia are conducive to the inter-regional exchanges and complementary advantages. The establishment and improvement of Asian supply chains, industrial chains and value chains will bring the Pan-Asia and Asia-Europe regional cooperation to a new level. The positive response of countries along the “Belt and Road”. Countries along the route will carry out in-depth exchanges and cooperation in transportation docking, industrial cooperation, financial cooperation and international trade. This also provides a good development opportunity for China to cooperate with Chinese medicine along the “Belt and Road”.

The countries along the “Belt and Road” have a history of the use of traditional Chinese medicine or traditional medicine, and have a certain mass base. In recent years, with the continuous development of Chinese medicine trade and the rise of Chinese medicine service trade, Chinese medicine has become a lot. The country's new economic growth point. With the concrete implementation of the “One Belt, One Road” strategic concept, China and its countries along the route have broad prospects for exchanges and cooperation in the field of Chinese medicine.

Countries along the Silk Road and some countries in Southeast Asia pay great attention to the health functions of traditional medicine, and integrate them into tourism, catering and other industries, attracting a large number of domestic and foreign customers, and have a certain scale.

With the advent of an aging society around the world, countries are also facing tremendous pressure from an aging population. For example, Italy, along the Silk Road country, is over 65 years old and accounts for about 20% of the country's total population. It has become the largest old country in Europe and the second largest ageing country in the world after Japan. The aging crisis has had a huge impact on the development of the entire pharmaceutical industry. The demand for therapeutic drugs for geriatric diseases will increase dramatically in the market. This provides a rapid development of traditional drugs such as traditional Chinese medicine with less side effects and natural drugs as the main components. Great opportunity.

"It is not easy for Chinese medicine to go out"

Although the “One Belt, One Road” strategy has ushered in a new historical opportunity for international cooperation and exchanges in Chinese medicine, Huang Zhenhui bluntly said that Chinese medicine is facing many difficulties and challenges when going out.

First of all, the development of Chinese medicine along the “Belt and Road” countries is uneven, and there is a big difference in the degree of national legislation and public acceptance. In general, Chinese medicine has received high recognition from the government and the people in Southeast Asia. Traditional medicine has been widely recognized by the government and the people in East Asia and South Asia. Traditional Chinese medicine/traditional medicine is widely used in Central Asia, West Asia and Africa. Lack of legislation and management, and the management of traditional Chinese medicine/traditional medicine in Europe is mostly based on safety, and there are many restrictive laws and regulations, which affects the development of international cooperation in Chinese medicine.

The countries in which Chinese medicine is clearly legislated in the countries along the “Belt and Road” include Singapore and Thailand. Traditional medicines in North Korea, South Korea, and Vietnam are mainly derived from Chinese medicine, and have now been included in the national statutory health care system. South Asian countries such as India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Myanmar have basically achieved legislative management of their traditional medicine. Britain is the first country in Europe to be enacting supplemental and alternative medicine legislation. However, in 2011, the United Kingdom suddenly announced that it “no longer protects the title of Chinese medicine practitioner” and “Chinese medicine practitioners register as herbalists”. So far, Chinese medicine legislation is still stagnant. status. Italy and Russia only allow acupuncture to carry out medical activities, but Chinese medicine is not recognized. Other European countries such as the Czech Republic and Sweden have not yet enacted legislation for Chinese medicine, and there is no clear supervision and management institution. They can only be served by licensed Western doctors or Chinese medicine practitioners who are affiliated with the opening clinics and practicing doctors.

Secondly, countries along the “Belt and Road” countries still lack uniform international standards and norms related to traditional Chinese medicine/traditional medicine. At present, although more than 90 countries including countries along the “Belt and Road” have established plant drug registration standards, overall, they are mainly formulated with reference to Western medicine standards. Practice has proved that the quality control, production process, pharmacology and toxicology, clinical evaluation and product registration standards of traditional Chinese medicine and traditional medicine related products cannot completely imitate modern western medicine and botanical medicine. Standards and norms that have the characteristics of traditional Chinese medicine and traditional medicine and are generally recognized by the national society have not yet been established, hindering the international exchange and cooperation and development of Chinese medicine.

Third, the “One Belt, One Road” international cooperation in Chinese medicine faces many legal obstacles and trade barriers. Many countries have adopted laws and regulations in legislation to regulate and regulate traditional Chinese medicine and traditional medicine in other countries. They have set up various technical barriers to the access of traditional Chinese medicine/traditional medicine, making the international trade of traditional Chinese medicine/traditional medicine based on the original difficulties. , facing new obstacles. In order to protect the development of traditional medicine in some countries, some countries have deliberately improved the monitoring standards for imported Chinese herbal medicines, proprietary Chinese medicines, and Chinese herbal medicines. However, the monitoring of Chinese herbal medicines and other products is more relaxed, such as heavy metal pollution and pesticide residues. Etc. This also creates obstacles to the exchange of traditional Chinese medicine and traditional medicine among countries.

Finally, intellectual property rights in traditional Chinese medicine and traditional medicine are at risk. China and the countries along the “Belt and Road”, especially in Southeast Asia and South Asia, have unique traditional medical theoretical systems, treatment methods and traditional medicines. Some developed countries in Europe and the United States are aware of the enormous wealth inherent in traditional medicines and natural medicines. They use their advanced technology to make changes to traditional medicines, and then apply for intellectual property protection. Such biological piracy incidents occur frequently. For example, the plant turmeric used to cure wounds in India and the plant bitter gourd for treating hypoglycemia have been patented in other countries; the infringement cases of artemisinin, Liushen pill, Niuhuang Jiuxin Pill, etc. in China have given the original traditional medicine intellectual property rights. The country has caused huge economic losses and has become an important factor hindering the development of international cooperation in traditional Chinese medicine/traditional medicine.

"Chinese medicine can do a lot of things by doing this."

Huang Zhenhui believes that with the "One Belt, One Road" strategy, Chinese medicine has considerable development prospects in the international market. "There are many things that can be done."

First, continue to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with international organizations such as WHO. From the perspective of global development, in addition to the Western Pacific Region, countries along the “Belt and Road” are located in the WHO South-East Asia Region, the Eastern Mediterranean Region, the European Region and the African Region. It is particularly important to further cooperate with these regional organizations.

Second, consolidate and expand cooperation with Chinese medicines along the “Belt and Road” countries, and carry out cooperation in TCM medical cooperation, TCM education cooperation and TCM scientific research. Under the premise of promoting the implementation of the signed bilateral cooperation agreements on various types of Chinese medicine, according to the characteristics of traditional Chinese medicine and traditional sciences along the Silk Road, priority will be given to targeted Chinese medicine cooperation, education cooperation and scientific research cooperation.

Third, expand the cooperation and exchanges between Chinese medicine professionals in the countries along the “Belt and Road”. At present, Chinese medicine research institutions in Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan and other provinces have signed 73 Chinese medicine cooperation agreements with Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, France, Austria, Russia and other countries. I am optimistic.

In addition, acupuncture enjoys a good reputation internationally. Through the International Conference of Chinese Medicine Acupuncture and Moxibustion International Conference, Regional Conference and World Federation of Professional Committees, which will be promoted annually by the World Federation of China and the World Federation of Acupuncture, we will promote the academic exchanges between Chinese medicine and traditional medicine along the “Belt and Road” countries, which will further promote “ The Belt and Road Initiative is a comprehensive development of international cooperation in traditional Chinese medicine along the route.

Fourth, establish a “One Belt, One Road” national traditional medical cooperation mechanism, focusing on the trade of Chinese medicine products and services. Through the combination of government guidance and market operation along the “Belt and Road”, we will coordinate the resources and strength of various countries, actively support and encourage Chinese medicine enterprises to establish research bases and marketing networks overseas, strengthen the construction of international distribution network of Chinese medicine products, and hold products. Promotion conferences, investment associations and exhibitions, relying on intermediary organizations such as chambers of commerce and associations, and implementing export agents and other means to expand the trade of Chinese medicines and expand the foreign Chinese medicine market. We will also establish a warning system for the protection of scarce and endangered traditional medicine resources along the countries along the “Belt and Road” to achieve complementary resources.

Fifth, in conjunction with countries along the Silk Road, jointly develop and promote international standards for traditional Chinese medicine and traditional medicine, and carry out traditional medicine intellectual property protection cooperation. At present, the infringement of the intellectual property rights of traditional medicine is a serious problem faced by China and the countries along the “Belt and Road”, especially in Southeast Asia and South Asia. China can further advocate the traditional intellectual property protection cooperation among countries along the “Belt and Road” framework, and form a traditional joint protection mechanism for intellectual property rights. At the same time, it promoted the joint development and formulation of traditional medicine-related standards, and took the lead in advocating the establishment of unified traditional medical standards among countries along the “Belt and Road”, establishing an international standardization information exchange channel for traditional medicine, and promoting the establishment of an international certification and accreditation system for traditional medicine. Guide the establishment of international medicine, health care, education, research and development and production that can be accepted and recognized by the international community, suitable for the characteristics of Chinese medicine and the specific conditions of each country (region), including disease diagnosis, treatment methods, efficacy evaluation, quality control, etc. Standards and specifications.