US accusation of China IP theft unfounded

By Zhong Sheng                             
After Washington announced that it will impose additional 10 percent tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese imports, some people in the US have again harped on the same old string by criticizing China for stealing US intellectual properties.
As a developing country, China has made rapid progress in intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and is highly praised by the international community in this respect.
Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), pointed out that the high-level IPR protection system established by China is conducive to the global promotion of the intellectual property system.
The 2018 International Property Rights Index released by the US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center not only upgraded China’s ranking by two places, but also gave positive comments to China’s effective patents and copyrights reform, the importance governments and law enforcement agencies laid on intellectual property, and the improving intellectual property awareness and the rising capability of research institutions and individuals to apply intellectual property.
No country is perfect at protecting IPR. Even the US, which claims that it leads the world in building a complete legal system for IPR and intensifying efforts to protect IPR, sees a considerable number of intellectual property lawsuits filed between market entities.
The legal environment for IPR protection in China is maturing, which has been acknowledged by foreign companies when they seek legal support and protection in the country. China’s scheme of achieving strict, widespread, fast and equal IPR protection has been applauded by both Chinese the foreigners.
In the past five years, the number of patent applications that China has received from overseas has increased by 3.1 percent per year on average and the number of trademark applications by 10.3 percent, reaching 650,000 and 840,000 respectively.
More and more foreign companies chose to have IPR disputes solved in China, thanks to the country’s judicial fairness and transparency, according to British media.
China has become a “preferred” land for multinational corporations to launch intellectual property litigation because it saves more time and cost to fight a lawsuit in China than in the US, American media said.
The tremendous progress China has made in scientific and technological innovation is attributed to decades of research and efforts of Chinese scientists, who independently developed atomic and hydrogen bombs and a man-made satellite under extremely difficult circumstances, synthesized crystalline bovine insulin, and refined artemisinin.
Today, China’s investment in science and technology ranks the second in the world. The country owns a large number of professional scientific research personnel, and its technological innovation is transitioning from quantitative to qualitative growth.
Last year, China’s research and experimental development spending reached 2 trillion yuan ($284 billion), accounting for 2.18% of GDP. Chinese tech firm Huawei’s R&D investment was $15 billion to $20 billion. In 2017, China ranked the first in the world regarding the number of intellectual property applications filed, which is the best proof of the effectiveness of China’s scientific research.
Clamoring for the so-called “intellectual property theft” of China, some people in the US have exposed their “selective blindness” to China’s progress in intellectual property protection, showing devastating disregard for China’s independent innovation capability.
They believe that only by “stealing” US intellectual property rights can China have the opportunity to achieve such great achievements in technological innovation. However, the fact is that China has more and more technological innovations that the US does not have, smashing such rumors again and again.
China has both the ability to create intellectual property rights and the determination and actions to protect them. The fact that more and more multinational companies have built regional headquarters and R&D centers in China is the most convincing proof.
(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy.)