Sunday, May 28, 2006

Intelligence Briefs: China in No Rush to End IP Piracy


United States trade officials say they are still waiting for signs that China is serious about fighting rampant intellectual property piracy. They could be waiting a long time. Our sources say real IP progress will take years. China will increasingly make the right noises; but meaningful action will occur only when it becomes absolutely necessary--meaning (a) when Beijing is ready to sacrifice the piratization industry for the sake of importing US high-technology products and systems necessary for the modernization and buildup of China's rising military, and (b) when China is further along in its planned transition to a so-called innovation economy, which will involve the export--and IP protection--of Chinese-made and branded high-tech products. Meanwhile, despite official promises and pronouncements, the piracy problem, like most major problems in China, is probably going to get worse before it gets better...

Latin America will continue to be a leading beneficiary of direct investment by Chinese companies, which last year spent $6.9 billion on overseas investments, reaching a cumulative total of $50 billion. Beijing is increasingly drawn to the region's raw materials, including oil, and growing consumer markets. Peru is an area of special interest: Chinese companies sees the current Peruvian presidential election frontrunner, Alan Garcia, as a man they can do business with. Look for stepped-up Chinese activity after his anticipated victory over ultranationalist plurality winner Ollanta Humala in the June 4 second and final round of voting. Germany, which is one of China's chief competitors in Peru, is also expected to go into high gear following a Garcia victory. Some large German companies are planning a number of big, environmentally friendly agribusiness ventures in remote areas of Peru....

China is preparing a new propaganda offensive against the universally admired Dalai Lama and his struggle for Tibet autonomy. Beijing intends to dredge up Tibet's feudal past to justify China's present-day repressive policies in the province, which the Dalai Lama's Tibetan government in exile considers an occupied nation. CCTV is said to be working on a documentary-style history of Old Tibet that will focus on the cruel oppression of serfs by tyrannical, wealthy monks; and state-run publishing houses are reportedly ready to crank out new novels and nonfiction books about the crushing backwardness of the Tibetan countryside....

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