to keep a presence in China. But it is impossible to divorce IPR protection in the PRC (or anywhere else, for that matter) from the broader issues of economic and political reform. Significant strides have been made in overcoming traditional Confucianist, Marxist, and Maoist attitudes, but as long as statism permeates the system, the PRC will not look like the West with regard to its economic institutions, much less its institutions of IPR. Western companies would be unwise to rely on the USTR to advance their goals. Instead, they must decide whether they think continued market-based economic reforms, which PRC leaders acknowledge must progress, will help erode the pervasive statism that dominates the current system. At least one Western businessman, Bill Gates, has made his decision.
Clearly, the disruption occasioned by the invasion of Manchuria in 1931, Chiang Kai-shek's ongoing campaign to eradicate
the Communists, further Japanese aggression, and the Chinese
civil war that followed greatly impaired efforts to infuse life
into the laws on intellectual property rights promulgated dur
ing the Nationalists' first two decades. Yet, more fundamen
tally, these laws failed to achieve their stated objectives
because they presumed a legal structure, and indeed, a legal
consciousness, that did not then exist in China and, most
likely, could not have flourished there at that time [ 1995, 53].