Traditional Chinese Medicine Takes the Global Stage

Liu Baoyan, President of the World Federation of Acupuncture Societies (WFAS) and Chief Researcher of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, led a delegation to visit UNESCO and the United Nations Economic and Social Council in New York on Monday.

As of the end of 2022, WFAS has 264 member associations in 70 countries and regions, with more than 400,000 acupuncture and moxibustion professionals.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Takes the Global Stage

Acupuncture in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity since 2010.

Mr. Liu and the delegation met with Ms. Lily Gray, Senior Liaison Officer of UNESCO New York Office. The two sides discussed the protection and inheritance of traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture and moxibustion.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Takes the Global Stage

Founded in Beijing in 1987, WFAS established a formal relationship with the World Health Organization in 1998 and was recognized by the International Organization for Standardization as an A Liaison Organization in 2010. He has also been granted special advisory status by the United Nations Economic and Social Council. In 2019 he became the only TCM entity with that status.

Since obtaining Special Consultative Status, WFAS has actively participated in UN conferences and played a role in advancing WHO’s goal of ‘Health for All’. During the COVID-19 pandemic, WFAS submitted a number of statements to the World Health Assembly and the Human Rights Council proposing the integration of traditional medicines in the fight against the pandemic.

During the visit to the United Nations, the delegation also met with Li Junhua, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, with the aim of gaining further guidance from the United Nations so that traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture can play a greater role. Achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.


In an interview with CGTN, Liu said that acupuncture is gradually entering the mainstream medical system in the United States, and Chinese acupuncture has become the world’s acupuncture. “Acupuncture has spread to 196 countries and territories, and more than 50 countries and territories have enacted laws regulating acupuncture. Many countries include acupuncture in their health insurance plans,” Liu said. added.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called traditional Chinese medicine a “treasure of ancient Chinese science”. Liu emphasized that traditional Chinese medicine has been practiced for thousands of years and has accumulated a wealth of clinical experience. He also explained some key challenges in promoting TCM.


Fang Yigong, deputy director of the Academy of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, told CGTN that foreigners’ interest in acupuncture is growing, and many international students are now coming to China to study.

“What really impressed me was their passion for traditional Chinese medicine and Chinese culture. Effective acupuncture would increase their interest in traditional Chinese medicine. They come to study, and they have tenacity and dedication.Some of our students are older and say, “It was a very promising job. I chose to start learning acupuncture with my own hands, which is very inspiring for us,” said Huang.

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