Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi on Thursday called for further innovation in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in order to safeguard one of the country's most valuable cultural heritages.
"TCM is a quintessential element of Chinese culture and an important field of innovation for medical scientists. There is a huge market demand worldwide," said Wu at Thursday's national TCM conference.
Wu stressed the importance of respecting tradition in TCM innovation and its clinical practice, and added that modern science and technologies should be employed to develop TCM.
She called for strengthening protection of TCM intellectual property and the training of professional personnel.
China currently has about 3,000 traditional medical hospitals that dispense medical treatment to nearly 234 million people each year.
(Xinhua News Agency January 12, 2007)