Beijing to Ban Criticism of Chinese Medicine
From：Taiwan Trade Center Chicago
Recently, Beijing has released a draft of a mandate that would prosecute Chinese residents for speaking ill or “defaming” traditional Chinese medicine. This has sparked intense online protests. Originally scheduled to be discussed in May, the new legislation has been pushed back likely due to COVID-19. The mandate’s focus is to hopefully encourage the expansion of traditional Chinese medicine within Chinese hospitals and the medical system across all treatment types. Without criticism from the people, China anticipates an easier integration of more of these traditional processes.
Scientifically, traditional Chinese medicine is not supported by the data and its effectiveness is debatable. However, the Communist Party sees this type of medicine as a patriotic symbol expressing China’s history and heritage. Most recently, the government has been promoting this type of medicine as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak, using it on almost 75,000 patients with an apparent effective rate of 90%. However, research deciding whether this is causation or correlation is not definitive. Further, doctors from around the world have expressed their skepticism concerning traditional Chinese medicine even though China calls for all doctors to start with that type of medicine to initially treat any patients.
Since the law has been proposed, though it has not been signed into law, there has been an outrage on social media claiming it is a denial of their freedom of speech. Others consider this an inappropriate tactic by the government to influence medicine, which was compared by one protester to the Catholic Church intervening in past governments around the world.
This proposed legislation isn’t the only legal attempt to promote Chinese traditional medicine though. In 2016, a mandate was passed that required local governments to promote it, but local areas were allowed to create their own strategy for implementing this law. The 2020 legislation in question now requires all public hospitals offer traditional Chinese medicine as well as increased marketing products within education to promote it. The government affirms that traditional Chinese medicine must be integrated with Western medicine in all public hospitals.