by Xinhua writers Li Huizi and Fu Min
XIAMEN, June 19 (Xinhua) -- Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has for a long time been fighting for status in a world dominated by Western medicine, and now advocates from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan are joining forces to pursue global recognition for TCM.
Both the mainland and Taiwan attach great importance to TCM, calling it "an indispensable part of Chinese culture," State Administration of TCM Deputy Director Yu Wenming told a seminar on June 11 at the third Straits Forum in the southeastern city of Xiamen.
Taiwan has more experience and advantage in "hospital management, health care, drug research and development and international marketing," whereas the mainland boasts great development resources and a huge market, Yu said, adding that the government has made TCM vital in its medical reform plan.
"The two sides have broad room for collaboration," he said.
Cross-Strait cooperation on TCM started in the late 1980s, but in the past, both sides focused more on short-term benefits, but now they have a shared goal -- to jointly promote TCM globally, which would benefit both in the long run, Yu said.
DIFFICULT ROAD ABROAD
A European Union directive on traditional herbal medicinal products, fully implemented in May, shocked China's ambitious TCM sector that has been wanting to enter the global market.
The directive requires that all herbal medicinal products obtain a medical license from any EU member state before it can be allowed in the EU market. However, not a single Chinese herbal medicinal product has been granted a license so far, mainly due to the prohibitive registration cost and lack of required evidence to prove the product has a 30-year history of safe use, including 15 years in the EU.
Actually, by elevating the threshold, the directive is trying to force China's TCM producers to abandon the EU market.