Tue | Nov 20, 2018

Beijing company to establish Chinese culture, health centres in the Caribbean

Published:Friday | August 31, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Mugwort products produced by the Beijing Yijialu International Trading Company Limited.
Antonia Hugh (left), Jamaica’s ambassador to China, and Yang Yu Chu, chairman of Beijing Yijialu International Trading Co Ltd, are seen inspecting this year’s mugwort crop in China.
Samples of Mugwort products produced by the Beijing Yijialu International Trading Company Limited.
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The Beijing Yijialu International Trading Company Limited formally announced its intention of promoting culture and health exchanges between China and the Caribbean through first establishing its Traditional Chinese Culture and Health Centre in Jamaica. Beijing Yijialu hopes to expand to other countries in the region over the next five years.

Beijing Yijialu intends to introduce traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to the Jamaican public through the use of acupuncture, traditional massage therapy, and stone needle therapy. There are also plans to introduce the use of TCM techniques to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions.

The centre intends to specialise in the use of Chinese mugwort products while maximising the full potential of this simple herb through the production of mattresses that promote better sleep while lessening joint inflammation. The product line includes other items such as shampoos, conditioners, soaps, pillows and more.

The centre also intends to highlight the classic elements of Chinese culture through a variety of art forms, including martial arts performances and competitions, calligraphy and painting, porcelain writing, and jewellery, all of which contain elements of classic Chinese art.

 

ROOM FOR MORE COOPERATION

 

During a recent event, the Jamaican ambassador to China, Antonia Hugh, spoke of the potential for more cooperation between Jamaica and China in the field of ethnomedicine.

"In the areas of TCM healthcare, there is an excellent cooperation and exchange if we take into account the practice of ethnomedicine in Jamaica - a system influenced by colonial European, indigenous Indian and African beliefs and concepts with ethnomedicinal drugs sources that include the Chinese. When we mention teas, the natural tendency is to think Chinese teas, but the use of local plants as remedies is prevalent in Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean," Hugh said.

With the establishment of a local centre in Jamaica, Beijing Yijialu intends to introduce various aspects of TCM, all of which has roots in China's 5,000-year history. The project will further enhance cultural exchanges and friendship between Jamaica and China.

The effects of China's One Belt One Road Initiative are now being felt at the private level, whereby Chinese companies are now able to engage other countries independently with the overarching goal of promoting aspects of Chinese culture, in this case - traditional Chinese medicine.

In reference to this, Hugh further commented on China's visionary approach to uniting the globe through its increased cultural engagement.

 

BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE

 

"Culture is a critical component of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which is set to redefine and transform the region and global political and economic land-scapes. An understanding of the Chinese cultural market, for example, should directly influence the quality of the goods and services you provide for sale in the market. I would say that culture is therefore a valuable pillar of China's strategic globalisation plan," he said.

Jamaica's 150-year relationship with China, beginning with the arrival of the first Chinese to the island 150 years ago, further contributes to Jamaica's enthusiasm towards China's BRI.

"We welcome programmes like the Belt and Road Initiative, which ignores the physical distance between us and focuses on our long history of friendship by building bridges - bridges which will take our partnership to new heights in the spirit of the Silk Road by boosting people-to-people and cultural ties and connecting markets across Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas," he continued.

Yang Yu Chu, chairman of Beijing Yijialu International Trading Co Ltd, also expressed his earnest interest in establishing a centre on the island within the next year. Yang hopes to use this platform to encourage the use of traditional Chinese medicine, including his company's mugwort products.