China’s capitalized acupuncture center, one of the countrys leading providers of western medicine, on Monday said it was selling its acupuncture business to another provider in a bid to strengthen its ties with the United States.
Chinese state-owned China General Acupuncture Group Co. (CCAG) said on Monday it was acquiring the Western Medicine Hospital and Acupuncture Center in the western Chinese city of Changsha for $6.5 billion.
“We have long-term business relations with Western Medicine,” CCAG Chairman Zhang Yongchun said at a news conference.
“We believe that Western Medicine is the right place for us.”
In December, CCAG sold a 40 percent stake in a Chinese medical practice in the United Kingdom to American medical equipment maker Allianz.
In China, the country’s healthcare system is still largely state-run and private, but there is growing pressure to change that, with a wave of reforms sweeping through the country in recent years.
The number of people insured has risen dramatically in recent months, and some hospitals are now selling their services to hospitals, clinics and nursing homes.
The U.S. has become increasingly important to China in recent decades.
The United States has provided millions of dollars in research funding, and in January, the U.N. health agency called for China to reduce its reliance on the U-2 spy plane that has operated in China for the past 10 years.
But the U.-2 deal, which was struck with the agreement of the two countries’ two top officials, did not result in the final sale of the Western Medical Acupuncture center.
China’s state-controlled Xinhua News Agency reported Monday that the two sides were “considering other options for expanding the relationship” between the two nations.
CCAG, a privately held state-backed company that has a market capitalization of $4.8 billion, has grown rapidly in recent times, becoming one of China’s top acupuncture centers.
It has about 15,000 acupuncture patients in more than 30 countries, including China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Vietnam.
The Western Medicine Acupuncture facility in Changsha has a capacity of about 20,000 patients a year and provides treatment for more than 1 million people.
Its Chinese owners said in a statement Monday that they were interested in strengthening their links with the U