China Becomes World's Largest Medicinal Plant Trader

China, home of traditional Chinese medicine, has become the world's largest medicinal plant trader.

According to participants at a recent international forum on endangered medicinal plants, China exported nearly 144,000 tons of medicinal plants annually from 1993 to 1998.

The medicinal plants were sold to more than 90 foreign countries, such as the United States, the Republic of Korea, and Japan.

Meanwhile, China imported about 9,200 tons of medicinal plants each year over the same period from more than 30 foreign countries.

The participants at the forum said that there has been a growing demand for medicinal plants around the world in recent years as more and more people prefer natural therapies.

China has tightened controls on the exploitation of natural medicinal plants over recent years in order to better protect the resources.

Research on substitutes for endangered medicinal plants is underway.

(Xinhua 10/29/2000)

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