On the morning of April 19th 2016, a Delegation of the Australian National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM) visited the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) in parallel with the visit to China of the Australian Prime Minister. On behalf of the Department of International Cooperation (DIC) of MOST, Dr. Zhao Xinli, Deputy Director General of China Science and Technology Exchange Center (CSTEC) received the delegation. Present at the event were representatives from Divisions of American and Oceanian Affairs of DIC and CSTEC.
DDG Zhao welcomed the visit. He recalled that during President Xi Jinping’s meeting with the Australian PM, Xi expressed his hope that common ground should be identified as China and Australia both have placed innovation high on the national agenda. Such new developments set the direction for further cooperation in science, technology and innovation. Zhao updated the Australian guests on the reform of China’s S&T administration, and the internationalization of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). He invited the guests to attend the fifth International Conference on the Modernization of Traditional Chinese Medicine to be held in Chengdu, Sichuan this October.
Head of the NICM delegation, Director Bensoussan noted that TCM has important positions in complementary medicine in Australia. Hopefully the two sides would engage in substantive cooperation in the future through the exchange of young scientists, the building of cooperation hubs, and joint funding of bilateral projects. Such endeavors are expected to help raise the profile of TCM in Australia.
Australia is the first developed country to recognize the legitimacy of TCM in the world. TCM has seen speedy development in Australia and practices have become increasingly standardized. TCM has proven its potency in solving problems that western medicine cannot, such as pains, common diseases and complicated clinical cases. At the moment, TCM has an increasingly greater market share in Australia, with an annual output value of tens of millions of Australian dollars. One out of every four Australians has received TCM treatment. In 2012, the Australian government founded the Chinese Medicine Board.