Elgar Intellectual Property and Global Development series
Chapter 1: The Opening Up to the World of a Once Isolated Nation
INTRODUCTION With its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, China officially entered the global economy. As one of the world’s fastestgrowing economies and the world’s second-largest economy by 2010,1 China’s domestic reform, its efforts of opening up to the international community and of moving from a governmental-controlled, planned economy to a market economy within the socialist setting, has focused the world’s attention. The entry to the WTO, on the one hand, has stimulated the implementation of the rule of law in China as transparency and accessibility are mandatory; and on the other hand, has created numerous opportunities and challenges for China, a country with a huge population, a poor economic foundation and a long and isolated history, which holds a diverse tradition towards creation and intellectual work, as well as laws in general. Whilst the opportunities exist for an increasingly unlocked and enhanced environment for trade, investment, production, technology and innovation, the challenges arise primarily from transformation of the traditional conception of the public interest, and establishing an effective and of international standard legal and administrative system, stopping acts of copyright infringement across the country. Meanwhile, China has experienced the rise of the Internet, which started later in the country compared with the West but has caught up rather quickly and become a main channel for people keeping in touch with the world. Although there is clearly a gap between China and the West over the understanding of different aspects of the Chinese Internet, including the...
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