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The Application and Development of TCM in China
With a proven history of over 3,000 years, TCM has contributed substantially to the health care of the Chinese people and the peoples across the world in terms of its profound theories, rich experience and wide application. The Chinese government has attached great importance to the policies and the development of TCM, as well as the integration of TCM with western medicine. At present, China boasts of 2 million TCM practitioners and over 1,000 TCM pharmaceutical enterprises, undertaking 30% of the medical care of the total population in China, especially in rural areas. In the year 2005, the national groß output value of TCM reached 115 billion RMB. While contributing to the health welfare of the Chinese people, the efficacy of traditional medicine is attracting the worldwide attention. WHO worked out the Strategy on Traditional Medicine 2002–2005, aiming to promote the application of traditional medicine throughout the world. The WHO official statistics show that up to May 2005, 75 countries including some European countries and the USA have set up their natural medicine regulation authorities. Fifty-one countries have formulated national policies concerning the development of traditional medicine. And 92 countries have enacted laws and regulations regarding the registration of herbal medicine. At the same time, China has signed special cooperative agreements on TCM with 21 countries. And over 50 bilateral government cooperation agreements between China and other foreign countries also cover the area of TCM. In July, 2006, to serve the needs of human health and well being, Chinese government has specially initiated the ”International Traditional Chinese Medicine Program for Cooperation in Science and Technology”. In the beginning of 2007, the 16 departments from the State Council of China, including MOST, MOH, SATCM and SFDA etc. initiated the Program for Innovation and Development of Traditional Chinese Medicine(2006–2020), which will propel the modernization and internationalization of traditional Chinese medicine. Foreseeing the great potentials for cooperation on TCM, the Chinese government is encouraging and promoting scientific cooperation activities at a wide spectrum, covering research on standard and methodology for efficacy assessment of TCM, acupuncture analgesia, acupuncture anesthesia and collateral channels, material basis of Traditional Materia Medica, mechanism of effect and formula for compound prescription, methodology on quality control of TCM such as fingerprint, clinical research on treatment of SARS and AIDS through integrated Chinese and Western medicine (acknowledged by WHO), clinical research on treatment of tumors and chronic diseases through integrated Chinese and Western medicine, the technologies for manufacturing TCM and etc. It's believed that with the expansion and strengthening of cooperation on TCM across the world, TCM will bring more benefits to the health of human beings in the world. For this ultimate goal, the Chinese Government, the academic and research communities as well as the industry are welcoming various forms of cooperation in TCM. References:  WHO, (2003) Strategy on Traditional Medicine 2002–2005.  Ministry of Science and Technology, P.R.C, International Traditional Chinese Medicine Program for Cooperation in Science and Technology.  Ministry of Science and Technology, P.R.C, Program for Innovation and Development of Traditional Chinese Medicine (2006–2020).