China has passed a new law that places Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) on an equal footing in the country with western medicine.
The Law on Traditional Chinese Medicine was approved at the end of a seven-day session of the National People’s Congress (NPC), and comes into effect on July 1 2017.
With a history of more than 2000 years, TCM continues to be highly valued in China for its unique theories and practices, including herbal medicine, acupuncture and massage. But it is often viewed with scepticism by medical practitioners in the West, which is something that China is seeking to address.
The new law will require training for TCM practitioners and will see both public and private funding made available for new research. The laws also make provision to protect TCM intellectual property and to protect endangered wildlife and plant species.
China says it also wants to see increased international exchanges and cooperation on TCM.