BEIJING, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- The traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has broad prospects and huge potentials in its development, Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi said here on Thursday.
Wu made the remarks at the 2008 National Conference on the TCM Work. "I'm very confident of the development of traditional Chinese medicine," she said.
According to the official, China has 3,072 TCM hospitals with over 330,000 beds, while most of general hospitals in the country have opened TCM departments.
China now has 1,500 TCM companies, manufacturing more than 9,000 kinds of Chinese medicine products.
The vice premier has been widely known as "China's Iron Lady" and also as a strong supporter of the revival of the TCM, which has been under debate among some Chinese experts and ordinaries.
The debate peaked in 2006, when a university professor posted an article on line to collect signatures from those who have supported the abolishing of traditional Chinese medicine, and he demanded an official ban on the practice of TCM within five years.
Traditional Chinese medicine is regarded as one of the main legacies of the Chinese Civilization.
Traditionally, Chinese doctors judge patients by observing the appearance of the patients, questioning them, feeling their pulse, and writing prescriptions based on experience and ancient prescriptions. Most of the ingredients in Chinese medicine are herbs.