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President Xi at the 20th National Congress of the CPC: Strengthen Legal Protection of Intellectual Property Rights

At the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, President Xi Jinping delivered an almost 2-hour work report, which is somewhat analogous to the U.S. President’s annual State of the Union Address.  President Xi also issued a much longer written work report that goes into more detail on the many of the topics he covered, including technology development and intellectual property.

Xi Jinping presides over the second meeting of the presidium of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 18, 2022. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)

According to the English version of the work report entitled “Hold High the Great Banner of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics and Strive in Unity to Build a Modern Socialist Country in All Respects” China will improve system for scientific and technology innovation and accelerate the implementation of the innovation-driven development strategy. 

Per the working report, we might expect more state control over China’s tech industry.

Innovation will remain at the heart of China’s modernization drive. We will improve the system in which the Party Central Committee exercises unified leadership over science and technology work. We will improve the new system for mobilizing resources nationwide to make key technological breakthroughs…

Regarding intellectual property,

We will increase investment in science and technology through diverse channels and strengthen legal protection of intellectual property rights, in order to establish a foundational system for all-around innovation. 

Optimistically, the working report envisions increased international scientific and technology exchanges.

We will expand science and technology exchanges and cooperation with other countries, cultivate an internationalized environment for research, and create an open and globally-competitive innovation ecosystem.

However, the working report also states an opposing view that “we should speed up efforts to achieve greater self-reliance and strength in science and technology” and “we will continue to… build China’s self-reliance and strength in science and technology.”

The working reports further seems to envision increased university technology transfer stating,

We will promote closer enterprise-led collaboration between industries, universities, and research institutes, stay goal-oriented, and promote the industrial application of scientific and technological advances.

In terms of status of China’s research and development, the working report states,

We have accelerated efforts to build our self-reliance and strength in science and technology, with nationwide R&D spending rising from 1 trillion RMB to 2.8 trillion RMB, the second highest in the world. Our country is now home to the largest cohort of R&D personnel in the world.

We have grown stronger in basic research and original innovation, made breakthroughs in some core technologies in key fields, and boosted emerging strategic industries. We have witnessed major successes on multiple fronts, including manned spaceflight, lunar and Martian exploration, deep sea and deep earth probes, supercomputers, satellite navigation, quantum information, nuclear power technology, airliner manufacturing, and biomedicine. China has joined the ranks of the world’s innovators.

The English version of the report is available here: 601256046-Xi-s-20th-party-congress-work-report

Principal, and Director of China Intellectual Property Practice

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