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Over the Horizon: Military Exports and Intellectual Property

Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011

In the background of Chinese President Hu Jintao's recent visit to the United States was the specter of increased military tensions between China and the U.S. Chinese military capabilities appear to be growing rapidly, with systems like the J-20 stealth fighter and the DF-21 anti-ship ballistic missile threatening key U.S. assets. However, the summit between Hu and President Barack Obama focused more on economic than military issues. And one of the foremost trade problems discussed during the visit was the issue of intellectual property (IP).

The United States has consistently criticized China for laxness in IP regulation, complaining that Chinese firms and government agencies use unlicensed software, and that U.S. entertainment products are often pirated. Last month, a New York Times editorial similarly decried lax IP enforcement in China. ...

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