On July 21, the U.S. made a unilateral provocation by making the outrageous demand that China close its consulate general in Houston. By doing so, the U.S. has grossly violated international law, the basic norms of international relations, and relevant provisions of the China-U.S. Consular Convention, and gravely damaged China-U.S. relations. China has made a legitimate and necessary response.
The U.S. has been making pretexts and spreading lies about its decision. In a matter of just a few days, it has churned out different versions of the story. Lies, however, will always be lies even if they are repeated a thousand times. The different versions concocted by the U.S. have no factual base. It has failed to present even one single piece of solid evidence. It is important that we check U.S. false allegations vis-à-vis the facts. The purpose is to debunk the falsehoods and let people know the truth.
1. False: China has stolen intellectual property (IP) from the U.S., including novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine research achievements. Closing the Chinese consulate general is "to protect American IP and Americans’ private information."
Fact: The U.S. has failed to back its allegation with any solid evidence. The reality is that China is a big country in terms of innovation and IP. It has become a main source driving IP growth in the world. On COVID-19 vaccine research and development (R&D), China has been at the forefront and has no need to steal from the U.S. China is a big country in terms of innovation and IP. It has kept strengthening the protection of scientific innovation and IP rights (IPRs). China is now among the world’s leading players in terms of the scale and growth rate of innovation input. Its R&D expenditure grew from 300.31 billion yuan ($37.68 billion) in 2006 to 1.96779 trillion yuan ($281 billion) in 2018, an average annual increase of 17 percent and rising from sixth to second in the world. China has the world’s biggest number of researchers. Its IP offices have received the highest number of patent applications for nine years in a row. It also registered rapid increase in international patent applications and has risen to the world’s second biggest filer via the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)’s Patent Cooperation Treaty System. As pointed out in the WIPO annual report, China has become a main driving force for the overall growth in the global demand for IPRs.
China is one of the global leaders in the R&D of COVID-19 vaccines. Chinese scientists are working on multiple vaccine projects along five technical routes. Vaccines with China’s independent IP have entered clinical trial. The Beijing Institute of Biological Products under the China National Biotec Group, a subsidiary of the China National Pharmaceutical Group, has set up the world’s largest production plant for COVID-19 vaccines. China’s National Medical Products Administration and other competent authorities are working to facilitate the deployment of vaccines. China is also working with other countries on vaccine R&D, production and distribution.
The U.S. accuses China of stealing its research outcomes. Such accusations are a total disrespect to the hard work of Chinese scientists and malicious slanders against China’s COVID-19 response. They have seriously undermined international cooperation on vaccine research and disrupted the global response against the disease.