On 3rd March 2020, Financial Times published Ambassador Liu Xiaoming’s letter to the editor under the title “China’s candidate has a deep understanding of WIPO’s strategic goal”. The full text is as follows:
China’s Candidate Has a Deep Understanding of WIPO’s Strategic Goal
There is no factual basis in the allegation that China “steals” intellectual property and tries to “control” the World Intellectual Property Organisation. The truth is, instead of control, China has contributed to global IP protection.
China’s continuous investment in science and technology for 40-plus years has enabled it to move from a big manufacturer to a major innovator. It is now the world’s second-largest investor in research and development, top applicant for patents and third largest holder of valid patents, and the only middle-income economy in the top 20 in WIPO’s Global Innovation Index. These achievements cannot be dismissed as “stealing”.
The aforementioned allegation has led to the current campaign for the top office of WIPO being politicised, in which some are being pressurised into withdrawing support for China’s candidate, Wang Binying. This is undermining the principle of fair and professional competition. The fact is, Ms. Wang has worked in WIPO for nearly 30 years and served as deputy head for 10 years. She has a deep understanding of WIPO’s strategic goal, company culture, the challenges and vision for the future. She is the strongest of all the candidates, highly respected by her colleagues, and recognised extensively by member states for her leadership and executive capability. China joined WIPO more than 30 years ago and has since engaged in international co-operation and been committed to helping other developing countries seek development through IP. By nominating a candidate for the top office of WIPO, China hopes to make greater contribution to global IP protection.
The allegations that China has gained “control” over four UN specialised agencies and “often steer the UN agenda to suit its interests” are even more absurd. As the largest developing country and second largest contributor to the UN budget, China is supporting the UN and contributing to multilateral co-operation by nominating high-calibre professionals to work for the UN. The Chinese nationals currently heading some offices are international civil servants who are elected by and act in the common wills of member states. They have outstanding capabilities and professional achievements, and follow the principle of objectivity and neutrality. It is in fact the accuser that is always attempting to steer the UN agenda to suit its own interests.
In this day and age, such bullying behaviour and power politics should be rejected by all. The candidates for Director-General of WIPO deserve an objective, fair and professional campaign.