Taiwan legislative speaker suggests renaming Chinese medicine as 'Taiwanese'

Name change proposal supported by Taiwan’s Chinese medical doctors, faces online opposition

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Legislative Speaker You Si-kun suggests renaming Chinese medicine. (Taiwan Presidential Office Building photo)

Legislative Speaker You Si-kun suggests renaming Chinese medicine. (Taiwan Presidential Office Building photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) on Sunday (July 5) suggested the term "Chinese medicine" should be changed to "Taiwanese medicine" to reduce the nation's association with China.

Speaking at the 2020 Taipei Traditional Chinese Medicine International Forum, You pointed out that both South Korea and Vietnam have localized the term, while Japan has referred to it as "Han medicine" instead. He said Taiwan's health authorities should consider following suit by excising "Chinese" from the medical vocabulary, thereby avoiding confusion with regard to the country's sovereignty.

You stressed that most Taiwanese elders have adopted the phrase "Han medicine" and not Chinese medicine since the foundation of the practice is often dated to the Han dynasty. He added that the name change would provide the island nation more exposure and enhance its reputation, reported UDN.

Since it was put forth, You's proposal has faced a large backlash from the online community, with many internet users mocking him as "overly sensitive" and "having too much free time." However, members of Taiwan's National Union of Chinese Medical Doctors' Association have expressed interest in the suggestion.

Ko Fu-yang (柯富揚), secretary-general of the union, said Chinese medical workers in the country would respect the government's decision with a happy heart. Meanwhile, Chinese medicine practitioner Wu Ming-chu (吳明珠) said she has never heard of the phrase "Taiwanese medicine" but that she is open to a change, reported ETtoday.


Taiwanese hold opposing views about renaming Chinese medicine. (Pixabay photo)