By Yang Sheng, Global Times
As Chinese government agencies signed a memorandum of cooperation to strengthen protection of intellectual property, China immediately began to implement the consensus reached by Chinese and US leaders in Argentina to prevent escalating trade frictions.
If Washington wants to meet Beijing halfway, it should also show some sincerity and action, Chinese experts said on Wednesday, and that includes respecting China’s right to upgrade its industries and maintain its efficient economic system.
“We are confident about the implementation [of the consensus from the meeting between the leaders of the two countries].” a spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said on Wednesday in a statement on the ministry’s official website.
“In 90 days, economic and trade teams of both sides will actively push forward the consultation following a clear schedule and road map.”
China will start by implementing specific aspects of the newly reached consensus as soon as possible, according to the spokesperson.
On Tuesday China made concrete moves on intellectual property.
A total 38 government agencies including the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the People’s Bank of China and the National Intellectual Property Administration Tuesday signed a memorandum of cooperation for joint efforts to strengthen punishment for intellectual property infringements.
Dishonest conduct from individuals or enterprises such as repeated patent infringements or falsification of documents during patent applications will be subject to joint punishment, according to the memo posted on the NDRC website on Tuesday.
Wrongdoers will be blacklisted, their names publicized on the creditchina.gov.cn website and shared among government agencies.
Wrongdoers will find it harder to obtain government financial support, participate in government procurement, issue corporate bonds or acquire government land supply, according to the memorandum.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at Wednesday’s routine press conference “this proves China is improving protection of intellectual property and launching actions to strike illegal activities.”
While China takes actions to implement the consensus, Trump administration officials like national security advisor John Bolton said they planned to take a tough stand in their 90-day trade negotiations with China, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
“China doesn’t like to talk too much to show who is making more compromises or who is winning as we prefer to let actions answer,” said Li Haidong, a professor at the Beijing-based China Foreign Affairs University.
No matter how many consensuses both sides have reached, it requires implementation to turn the consensuses into reality with an actual solution, Li said.
But the Trump administration is still throwing tough words around social media while hard-liner Robert Lighthizer has been sent to negotiate with China, he noted.
“The consensus won’t work if Lighthizer always pushes China to compromise without any feedback from the US side,” Li said.
Jin Canrong, associate dean of Renmin University of China’s School of International Studies, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the consensus is win-win for both sides.
“The US at least gets three important things from us: a restart on importing US agricultural products, the green light for the Qualcomm-NXP deal and the Fentanyl issue.”
However, what China wants is simple, Jin said. “Respecting China’s right to upgrade industries: ‘Made in China 2025.’ This is China’s bottom line, which leaves no room to talk,” he said.
US officials have “indirectly acknowledged that China’s economic system is more efficient than the US,” Jin said, “but they refuse to reform their own system. In fact, the US has never stopped subsidizing its companies and now it’s using double standards to pressure us. This is unacceptable.”
Improving protection of intellectual property is not only because of trade negotiations with the US, Jin said. It also meets China’s own requirements for deepening reform, he noted.