The first university-based Taiji health center outside China was inaugurated on Saturday at the newly formed University of West Attica at Aegaleo, western Athens, in cooperation with the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SHUTCM). It forms part of the Greek-Chinese financial and cultural cooperation in the Belt and Road Initiative and is seen becoming a model for similar centers in every country along the Silk Road, SHUTCM officials said.
In line with the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Belt and Road Initiative that Greece and China signed in August, the two universities agreed on the creation of a center to offer programs based on traditional Chinese medicine, which focuses on health promotion.
SHUTCM Vice President Hu Hong-Yi told Kathimerini that his university chose Greece because of its ancient tradition in medicine through Hippocrates, which in a way saw the convergence of ancient Greek and Chinese medicine.
Hu also explained that while SHUTCM has three traditional Chinese medicine centers in Europe, this is the first Taiji health center abroad and it will serve as a springboard for the development of many similar ones in Europe and in every country along the Silk Road, promoting Chinese tradition and culture.
Hu and University of West Attica President Constantinos Moutzouris jointly unveiled the nameplate of the Taiji Health Center. “We want the University of West Attica to become part of a Silk Road of universities,” said Moutzouris, with Hu stating that “Taiji is like the sea, because after the Greek-Chinese cooperation on ports and the maritime industry, it is helping us expand our cooperation.”
Through its Press and Communication Office, the Greek Embassy in Beijing supported the process of establishing the Taiji center in Greece, while the Chinese Embassy in Athens is devoted to promoting it further, since “Taiji is a trademark of the Chinese culture,” as Deputy Head of Mission Wang Qiang told Kathimerini.
The MoU Greece and China signed on August 27 stipulated that bilateral exchanges and synergies will include not only infrastructure connectivity, economic cooperation, trade and financial cooperation, but also cooperation in the fields of people-to-people exchanges, culture, health, sports, science, tourism and others.