BEIJING, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- China will develop traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) into a pillar industry, according to a blueprint released by the State Council, China's Cabinet, on Friday.
The plan proposes universal access to TCM care by 2020. By 2030, TCM should make a notably greater contribution to social and economic development.
The plan, calling for equal attention to TCM and Western medicine, set out tasks including "Internet + TCM", integrating TCM with elder care and tourism, protecting the inheritance of knowledge and technology, developing new drugs -- particularly those used in treating major communicable disease and severe illnesses -- and boosting industrialized production of drugs.
The plan proposes changes to the law and standardization, along with teaching TCM basics to primary and middle school students.
Apart from TCM, China also aspires to boost research and development of new drugs with indigenous intellectual property aspects in the 13th Five-year Plan.
China has made rapid progress in this field.
Liu Qian of the National Health and Family Planning Commission said the number of such new drugs developed during the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015) -- about 20 in total -- tripled those developed in the 50 years before, including the anti-tumor icotinib hydrochloride Chidamide and the inactivated EV71 vaccine against hand-foot-mouth disease.