China’s international cooperation: assisting developing countries to build intellectual property systems

Publication Name

Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property


The world has witnessed the rapid transformation of China from a country with a limited legal system to support global trade and protect intellectual property (IP) to a nation with a mature legal framework supportive of an economy driven by knowledge and innovation. This transition has facilitated a change in the role played by China in its cooperation in the field of IP, from a recipient of foreign technical assistance to a provider of such assistance to other developing nations. This article assesses China’s collaboration with other developing countries to strengthen the protection of IP in the context of the rising significance of technology and innovation in the economic plans implemented by Beijing. It argues that China’s engagement in the IP arena follows a South-South cooperation approach supportive of the interests of the developing world in international forums. The essay concludes that the collaboration between the Asian powerhouse and the Global South will continue in the near future but it may change by 2035 when China’s economy will rely more on innovation.

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