China, US to sort out differences over innovation

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Chinese and American experts exchanged views last Friday ahead of the 3rd round of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) focusing on policies and practices surrounding innovation and intellectual property (IP) rights protection.

"It is part of the ongoing China-US dialogue to sort out our differences over innovation," Zhao Gang, a member of the China-US innovation experts group, told China Daily on Saturday about the sub-dialogue to the S&ED, which opens on Monday.

These issues have become focal points straining the China-US relations over the past few years.

Robert D. Atkinson, co-chair of the experts group and president of information technology and innovation foundation, told China Daily: "One of the things our groups is tasked to do is sit down in collaborative and open way among experts and explore that issue and see where there is truth in that, where is not, where is confusion, and we could go forward."

While the Americans contended that China's indigenous innovation policies favor local Chinese businesses against US and other foreign firms, Chinese experts raised the issues of the US discrimination against Chinese firms doing business in or exporting to the US.

Mu Rongping, also a member of the China-US innovation expert group, told China Daily that a lot of people misunderstood the Chinese phrase, zi zhu chuangxin, because "something is lost in the translation".

"Indigenous means 'local', and 'local' is wrong," Mu said, adding that the use of the phrase "independent innovation" in English is especially wrong.

In Chinese context, zi zhu chuangxin is proposed to achieve two goals. One is to encourage Chinese researchers to come up with their own innovative ideas instead of following their colleagues in the West, and the other is to help businesses to develop capacity to create their own patents instead of purchasing from others.

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