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TCM's Application for World Heritage Launched

It was learned Friday from the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences that the expert team from the committee for application for world cultural heritage for traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) convened the first session in Beijing recently.

At the session, the expert team confirmed that eight categories including Chinese medicine theory, health preserving, diagnostic methods, therapeutics, Chinese medicine, acupuncture and national medicine (such as Tibetan and Mongolian medicine) will be included into the list for the first batch of TCM applying for national intangible cultural heritages. This signifies that China has officially launched the application process for world cultural heritage for TCM and moved on to the working procedure.

State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SATCM) revealed that at present the draft of the planning for TCM's application for world intangible cultural heritage has been finished. China will in the first place submit the application for world cultural heritage for TCM as a whole and then complete the application to the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) within this year.

Such application for TCM as a whole will include traditional medicine of the Han nationality and minorities in China, all types of medicine-related theoretical knowledge, practical techniques and material resources, instead of simply protecting medical skills and prescription or a certain approach for individuals.

Shen Zhixiang, deputy director of the committee for application for world cultural heritage for TCM and head of the Department of International Cooperation of SATCM said that as a type of intangible cultural heritage, TCM has its unique characteristics of being systematic, integral, highly document-oriented and widely transmitted.

The whole TCM field not only features tangible cultural heritages such as medical culture relics, cultural heritages and documents, but also a lot of intangible cultural heritages such as methods of practice and observation, knowledge system, techniques for TCM processing and prescription theory. As application for world cultural heritage for TCM should be regarded as a wide concept, such application will only be made for TCM as a whole.
(Chinanews February 5, 2006)

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