China has become a veritable intellectual property (IP) power and played an important role in the world's innovation landscape, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Friday at a news briefing.
Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks when answering a question regarding China's nomination of director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). According to reports, some officials of the United States have recently criticised China for 'stealing intellectual property,' stressing that Chinese people should not be allowed to lead the WIPO.
China has continuously intensified its scientific and technological innovation and intellectual property protection, said Zhao.
In recent years, China has continuously enhanced its innovation capability, as well as the quantity and quality of scientific and technological innovation achievements, he said.
China has led the world in its investment scale and growth rate of innovation, with its research and development expenditures increasing from 300.31 billion yuan (about 42.9 billion U.S. dollars) in 2006 to 1.97 trillion yuan in 2018, an average annual increase of 17 percent, and its world ranking rose from the 6th to the 2nd. China also has the highest number of personnel engaged in R&D in the world.
In the 2019, Global Innovation Index rankings published by the WIPO and other institutions, China rose from the 35th in 2013 to the 14th in 2019 and ranked the first among middle-income economies. It also has the fastest progress in the world in this regard.
China has ranked the first in the world for nine consecutive years in terms of the number of invention patent applications it accepted, Zhao said, noting that China has successively achieved a major breakthrough in the number of invention patent applications and invention patent ownerships, both exceeding 1 million and has become the first country in the world whose annual invention patent applications exceeded 1 million and the third country after the United States and Japan to have more than 1 million effective inventions.
In 2019, China received 61,000 international patent applications through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), an increase of 10.4 percent year on year.