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The Rise and Rise of TCM

Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, has grown in popularity both locally and internationally, as the Second International Science and Technology Conference on Traditional Chinese Medicine, which ends today in ChengduSicuan Province, has shown. The conference attracted more than 3,000 government officials, representatives from pharmaceutical firms and scientists and researchers from 43 countries.


Conference host, Sichuan Province has become the country's largest production base of TCM, the provincial technological department announced on Monday. Sichuan's annual output accounts for one third of China's total volume of traditional medicine.


Statistics from China's science and technology department show that 124 countries and regions have established traditional Chinese medicine institutions.


Information gathered from the conference shows that Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) are the two East Asian nations where the practice and use of TCM is the most popular outside of China.


Currently, Japan has approximately 15,000 people engaged in TCM-related businesses. About 100,000 people practice acupuncture, and about 30,000 people conduct TCM research. Japan's output of Chinese herbal medicine preparation has risen by 50 percent to 60 percent annually in recent years.


The ROK has developed a Chinese medicine market of over US$1 billion.


TCM has also gained a foothold in the West.


France has acknowledged the practice of acupuncture-anesthesia and TCM has been included in the curriculum of France's medical institutions of higher learning. Chinese herbal medicine was included in France's medical insurance system in 1999.


Currently, France has more than 10,000 people engaged in TCM-related businesses, over 2,600 TCM clinics and nearly a dozen acupuncture schools.


But it is in Germany that TCM is the most popular. So much so that TCM products can be bought at most drugstores.


In Sydney, Australia, at least 2.8 million people visit TCM doctors every year. In Melbourne, more than 2,000 doctors practice TCM. Other Australian cities have at least a few hundred TCM practitioners, and TCM have sprouted across the country.


TCM is also gradually obtaining legal recognition in the United States, where there are 15,000 registered acupuncturists and 53 TCM schools.


(Xinhua News Agency September 27, 2005)

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