Procedural justice is a principle that has always been championed not
just in judicial affairs but also in politics in the West. Yet in its
attempt to block China's candidate from being elected the head of the
World Intellectual Property Organization, the United Nations agency
charged with protecting intellectual property and promoting innovation,
the United States is obviously going against this principle.
close-door vote by WIPO member states will be held on March 4 to 5 to
decide who will replace Francis Gurry of Australia as WIPO's
director-general. China's Wang Binying is one of the six candidates in
the running, the other five are from Colombia, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Peru
and Singapore. Having served as deputy chief of WIPO for a decade, Wang
is obviously considered a strong candidate.
However, in an
opinion piece published in The Financial Times, Peter Navarro who is an
assistant to the US president and director of the US Office of Trade and
Manufacturing Policy, wrote that "giving control of WIPO to a
representative of China would be a terrible mistake".
to be a China hawk, he even alleged a Chinese "gambit to gain control
over 15 specialized agencies of the UN", noting that China already has
leadership of four of those, while no other country leads more than one.
US even warned some of the medium and small countries not to vote for
China or they will face consequences such as weakened relations with the
US or losing access to World Bank and International Monetary Fund
There is no reason for the US to politicize the normal
selection of WIPO head, which will only do a disservice to the work of
the organization. The UN is not an arena for a political fight but an
international body where solutions can be sought to complicated
China has no ambition or strategy to seek
dominance over the UN organizations. It has gained clout in the
international community that is compatible with what it has done as a
responsible major power.
There is a striking contrast between
what China has done, in terms of aid to poor countries and contributions
to world peace as well as to the fight against climate change, and the
US unilateral slogan of "America first" and its withdrawal from
international organizations and multilateral treaties.
need to catch up in terms of protection of intellectual property and it
has been making unremitting efforts in that direction. Should its own
representative head WIPO, it would only further promote its IPR
What the US has done amounts to interference
with the procedure of the WIPO selection of its new head. That it shows
no compunction to proceed with what it is doing only verifies the fact
that it is none other than a hegemon, which shows no respect for rules