Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Beijing Municipal Health Commission just released a set of draft regulations for traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), a huge industry of mass-produced, over-the-counter remedies based on herbal ingredients.

But buried in those draft regulations is a surprising rule: Article 54 states that "denigrating and defaming traditional Chinese medicine" will be "punished by public security organs according to law."

  • The eagle-eyed Chen Du, a journalist with Chinese news outlet PingWest, flagged the draft rule on Twitter.

Why it matters: The Chinese government has increasingly sought to promote TCM internationally as a form of Chinese soft power.

  • In 2019, at China's urging, the World Health Organization included a chapter on TCM in its influential diagnostic compendium for the first time.
  • But TCM methods and remedies have undergone relatively little scientific study, and their efficacy and side effects are largely unproven, though widely consumed in China.

With that background, it's not hard to imagine why local Chinese authorities might want to suppress criticism of something as seemingly apolitical as a package of foul-smelling pills.

Go deeper

Updated 3 mins ago - Science

Hurricane Isaias makes landfall in North Carolina

People walk through floodwaters on Ocean Blvd. in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Monday. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Hurricane Isaias made landfall as a Category 1 storm near Ocean Isle Beach in southern North Carolina at 11:10 p.m. ET Monday, packing maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, per the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

What's happening: Hurricane conditions were spreading onto the coast of eastern South Carolina and southeastern N.C., the NHC said in an 11 p.m. update. Ocean Isle Beach Mayor Debbie Smith told WECT News the eye of the storm triggered "a series of fires at homes" and "a lot of flooding." Fire authorities confirmed they were responding to "multiple structure fires in the area."

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 18,224,253 — Total deaths: 692,679 — Total recoveries — 10,865,548Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 4,713,500 — Total deaths: 155,401 — Total recoveries: 1,513,446 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. Politics: White House will require staff to undergo randomized coronavirus testing — Pelosi says Birx "enabled" Trump on misinformation.
  4. Sports: 13 members of St. Louis Cardinals test positive, prompting MLB to cancel Tigers series — Former FDA chief says MLB outbreaks should be warning sign for schools.
  5. 1 🎥 thing: "Tenet" may be the first major film to get a global pandemic release.

Exclusive: Trump declines to praise John Lewis, citing inauguration snub

President Trump dismissed the legacy of the late Rep. John Lewis in an interview with “Axios on HBO,” saying only that Lewis made a “big mistake” by not coming to his inauguration.

The big picture: Trump's comments were a glaring contrast with the praise Republicans and Democrats showered upon Lewis this week, and a default to personal grudges during a week of mourning for a civil rights hero.