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Interview: China calls for fair election of WIPO director general

(Xinhua)    09:00, March 02, 2020

BEIJING, March 1 (Xinhua) -- China has called for creating a fair environment for all the candidates of the upcoming election of the director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

China has nominated Wang Binying, currently a deputy director general of WIPO, as a candidate for the election.

"The nomination of Ms. Wang Binying as a candidate for the WIPO director general election embodies China's desire to make greater contributions to international cooperation and development in the field of intellectual property," said Shen Changyu, commissioner of the National Intellectual Property Administration, during an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

China has always been a follower, participant and upholder of the international rules of intellectual property. China has always carried out cooperation and exchanges with WIPO and its members in strict accordance with the rules of WIPO, actively fulfilling its international obligations, seeking common development and promoting common progress, Shen said.

Wang Binying has worked for WIPO for nearly 30 years, and served as a deputy director general of WIPO for more than a decade, becoming an internationally recognized expert in the field of intellectual property.

She has rich experience in international intellectual property affairs and in promoting the reform and development of WIPO. She is capable of dealing with complex situations, bridging differences between all parties, coordinating the interests of all parties and promoting common development, Shen said.

Her outstanding leadership, professional accomplishments and enthusiasm for work, as well as her adherence to the goals of the United Nations and the principles of WIPO, have earned her a stellar reputation in the international intellectual property community and within WIPO, Shen said.

Wang has always adhered to the values of WIPO, followed the working rules of the organization, and actively promoted relevant work. Especially in her more than 10 years as a deputy director general of WIPO, Wang has worked hard to provide open, fair and effective services for each member of WIPO, winning wide recognition and trust in the international community.

The incumbent and former three directors general of WIPO are from Australia, Sudan, the United States and the Netherlands, respectively, and all of them are male.

"If Ms. Wang Binying, as a female candidate from a developing country, could be elected, the United Nations would have another outstanding female leader of an international organization. It would be the most vivid and persuasive embodiment of the idea of ability first and women first," Shen said.

As a specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO has clear rules for the election of its leader. "We believe that the most appropriate leader will be elected as long as all parties abide by the rules and engage in fair competition," Shen said.

When talking about China's intellectual property protection, Shen quoted the saying that "facts speak louder than words."

Since its reform and opening-up, China has seen its intellectual property work advance rapidly. So far, China has established a relatively complete intellectual property legal system in line with prevailing international rules, and joined almost all major international treaties on intellectual property. It has been insisting on equal treatment and protection of the intellectual property rights of both domestic and foreign enterprises.

The government has attached even more importance to intellectual property work since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. The Chinese leadership has enunciated China's intellectual property protection principles and positions on many occasions, and made a series of important arrangements, including the establishment of specialized intellectual property courts, the reform of the intellectual property administrative system, the revision of relevant laws and regulations, such as the foreign investment Law, the trademark law and the patent law, as well as the strengthening of administrative law enforcement, he said.

At the end of last year, China issued a set of opinions on strengthening intellectual property protection, which contains 99 new measures to apply even stricter protection for intellectual property rights, he added.

Driven by the above policies and measures, China's intellectual property protection has kept progressing, with its patent and trademark applications taking the lead in the world for many years running.

The number of applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty from China ranks the second and the volume of its applications for international trademark registration under the Madrid System ranks the third in the world.

China's effective protection brings huge benefits to foreign intellectual property rights holders every year. In 2001, China paid only 1.9 billion U.S. dollars for intellectual property royalties, while the figure exceeded 34 billion U.S. dollars in 2019.

China's work in this field has also won acclaim in the international community. According to the 2019 Global Innovation Index released by WIPO, China's ranking increased from 35th in 2013 to 14th in 2019, one of the countries with the fastest progress in the world.

A survey on social satisfaction with China's intellectual property protection showed that the satisfaction of foreign-funded enterprises in China has remained higher than the average level for many years in a row.

The 2019 Member Survey by the US-China Business Council also showed that the number of U.S. enterprises sharing the view that China enhanced its intellectual property protection in 2018 reached a record high since the survey started in 2011.

"China has done substantial work on intellectual property protection and should be evaluated objectively and fairly," Shen said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Zhao Tong, Bianji)

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