In fall 2013, China launched the "One Belt, One Road" Initiative, covering over 60 percent of the world's population and about a third of global GDP. Now translated officially as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), this new development features two distinct routes: the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt and the sea-based 21st-century Maritime Silk Road.
Although burgeoning literature has emerged to analyze the BRI's benefits, drawbacks and ramifications, few scholars have explored the initiative's potential impact on international and regional intellectual property systems. Commissioned for a special issue on the BRI, this article aims to fill this void by examining the emerging role China and its BRI will play in the intellectual property area.
This article begins by exploring China's growing assertiveness in the international arena. It then explores six areas in which the BRI can play constructive roles in facilitating international and regional cooperation on intellectual property matters. Recognizing that this initiative has generated many concerns and complications, the article concludes by addressing three oft-raised questions relating to the initiative.