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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on January 3, 2024

2024-01-03 20:39

Beijing Daily: This year marks the 30th anniversary of China’s entry into the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). Can you brief us on China’s effort to advance international cooperation on patents and global governance of intellectual property?

Wang Wenbin: China attaches high importance to international patent cooperation and intellectual property (IP) protection. In the past three decades since China became a member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), we’ve actively participated in the revision and improvement of PCT and other international rules, improved our own legal system on IP and engaged in productive cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization. China has been the top filer of international patent applications through PCT for four consecutive years, making itself one of the world’s leading countries in the area of IP and innovation.

IP protection serves as a major pillar for innovative development. Building on its rich reservoir of patent technologies, China has been enhancing the quality and efficiency of its work on IP to unleash creativity at a faster pace. So far, China has filed 126,400 global patent applications for solar panels, ranking the first in the world. Top 10 NEV makers in China by sales possess over 100,000 global patents in force, leading the green and low-carbon sector and providing a strong impetus for world economic recovery.

China has expanded opening up in IP protection and fostered a world-class business environment that is market-oriented, law-based, and internationalized. More and more foreign applicants are looking to do business and plan their patent portfolios in China. Over the past decade or so, applicants from 115 Belt and Road partner countries filed applications for 253,000 patents in China, an annual increase of 5.4 percent. As of the end of 2022, a total of 861,000 invention patents were in force for overseas applicants in China, a year-on-year increase of 4.5 percent. This speaks to the foreign-funded companies’ recognition towards China’s effort in IP protection.

Looking forward, China will continue to uphold the principle of openness, inclusiveness, balance and benefits for all, strengthen exchanges and cooperation on IP with all countries, and advance a fairer and more just global governance on IP to deliver more benefits of innovation to people around the world and build a community with a shared future for mankind. 

Reuters: Has China sent any humanitarian aid to Japan since the earthquake on Monday? Or has Japan made any request to China for relief aid? Are there any latest updates on how the disaster is affecting Chinese nationals there? 

Wang Wenbin: China expressed sympathies to the Japanese side yesterday over the powerful earthquakes that hit Noto region in Ishikawa Prefecture of Japan. We are willing to provide necessary help to Japan for its relief and rescue efforts.

To my knowledge, no Chinese casualty has been reported so far. The Foreign Ministry and our embassy and consulates in Japan will continue to follow the situation closely and provide timely and necessary assistance to our nationals in Japan.

Rudaw Media Network: A project which two Chinese companies and the Iraqi government implement will build 30,000 residential housing units in Iraq. Why doesn’t the project cover any governorate in the Kurdistan region?

Wang Wenbin: China and Iraq have friendly relations. As a sincere friend of the Iraqi people, China has taken an active part in the economic reconstruction of Iraq and contributed to Iraq’s economic and social development, which is widely recognized by the Iraqi government and public. China stands ready to continue working with Iraq for new progress in practical cooperation in various areas.

CCTV: It was reported that in an interview on January 2, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva warned against fragmentation of the global economy along geopolitical lines due to increasing national security restrictions, with countries gravitating towards separate blocs led by the United States and China. Allowed to continue, she said this could ultimately reduce global GDP by 7 percent. What is your comment?

Wang Wenbin: We noted the reports. There is only one planet we call home and one common future for humanity. The international community needs to work together and support each other in response to current crises and for a better future. What’s needed most is solidarity, and what should be avoided most is fragmentation.

Be it trade war, tech war, or decoupling, severing of industrial and supply chains and de-risking, they are all essentially designed to politicize trade issues and be used as weapons to perpetuate certain country’s primacy, hold back emerging markets and developing countries in their development efforts, and deprive their 7 billion people of the right to a better life. This is neither virtuous nor sustainable. Ultimately, it is the overall interest of the international community that will take the toll and no single country can be spared.

The world will not retrogress to a state of isolation and exclusiveness, still less can it be deliberately divided. Any beggar-thy-neighbor move, bloc confrontation mentality, and arrogant sense of supremacy are doomed to failure. China would like to work with all parties to champion universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalization, firmly reject de-globalization and overstretching of security concept, oppose all forms of unilateralism and protectionism, uphold the equality of rights, opportunities and rules among all countries, protect the right of all countries to equal development and advance common development and prosperity.

Reuters: We would like to ask the same about the Japan Airlines’ airport accident yesterday. Has China sent any aid to Japan or any specific organizations there? Or has Japan also made any request for aid in that sense? 

Wang Wenbin: We noted the reports. We express our condolences over the loss of lives in the accident and our sympathies to those who have been injured. According to what I have learned, Japan has not made requests for aid. 

In the wake of the accident, the Chinese Embassy in Japan immediately contacted local government authorities and the airline for more information. No Chinese national was injured. There were 14 Hong Kong tourists on the plane. The Embassy has got in touch with them and is working to re-issue travel documents for those who have lost theirs. We will follow closely the latest developments and provide timely assistance to Chinese nationals.

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