Opinion | China is committed to intellectual property protection

Intellectual property (IP) is a bridge for international cooperation in the process of trade globalization. Some politicians in the United States, however, use it as an excuse to provoke economic and trade frictions and exert maximum pressure on China by accusing China of “IP theft” and “forced technology transfer.”

China is by no means a thief, but rather a protector and creator of intellectual property. It only took 40 years for China to go from its earliest attempt to the establishment of a relatively complete legal system with high standards for IP rights protection. Currently, China is committed to modernization and reform in intellectual property management, which will further promote China’s ability to become an intellectual property power and participate in global innovation cooperation with more confidence.

Today, China is on the fast track for scientific and technological innovation and has become a major innovating country with global influence. New industries, new models and new business forms are emerging one after another and innovation has become an engine of economic and social development. China does not only take the lead in manufacturing large-scale aircraft, high-speed railways, third-generation nuclear power projects and electric vehicles, but has also made great progress in new generation information technologies, such as artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Chinese researchers have published more papers on artificial intelligence than their U.S. counterparts in the last few years. China now has the world’s largest research and development team, and China’s patent application volume has ranked first in the world for eight consecutive years. According to the Global Innovation Index 2018 released by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), China has moved up to 17th place in the WIPO innovation ranking and has broken into the world’s top 20 most innovative economies for the first time.

China has made increased efforts in the judicial and administrative protection of IP rights. The judicial system of “Court of Appeal + specialized court in the area of intellectual property” was established, and China’s National Intellectual Property Administration was restructured to carry out a series of special actions against violations of IP rights. In 2018, China’s spending on research and development increased to RMB2 trillion, accounting for 2.18% of its GDP and surpassing the average spending of OECD countries. At the same time, China strengthened the protection of intellectual property and has maintained rapid growth in the purchase of IP rights. According to official data, overseas IP rights loyalties paid by China have increased by an average of 17% since 2001, reaching USD28.6 billion in 2017.

Intellectual property should serve as a bridge for technical exchanges,  cooperation and innovation between different countries. China will continue to make unremitting efforts in the protection of IP rights and will participate in the global governance of intellectual property in a more active way. Gong Xin

This article was commissioned by the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC in the Macao SAR

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