If we were in China's position, still poor and backward in so many areas, we too would try our hardest to skate around the obstacles to using the latest innovations. Innovation is the key to rapid development and national material progress. We ourselves have violated the IP of other countries when we were behind and trying to develop. Of course, that was before we had fully developed the mythology of IP as "property" and that copying without paying was robbery.
The day is coming when the China will have developed to the point where its own domestic enterprises will decide they want their IP protected and will press their government to try to compel other countries to do the same. In the meantime, China will try to get away with as much as it can, recognizing that it can trade other actions in return for giving it a pass.
It is too bad that the China probably will not recognize that its interest is in either no IP protections or a vastly limited set which narrowly defines new IP and restricts its term to only a few years. But this rationale depends on the notion that IP is beneficial only as an inducement to innovate. And that the motivation is limited to the present value of the future stream of income, which approaches zero in no more than ten years.
The present IP system in the US is marred by its harmful and excessively long term, by its grossly ambiguous and generous definition of what constitutes innovation, by the capture of the system by big business which dearly loves its monopolies, and by a legal system that grows fat on litigation.
Unfortunately, there is little reason for one to expect China to define its interest in IP protection in terms of the public's welfare. Given its nationalist roots, the authorities there are more likely to define their national interest as in extracting rents from other countries in order to enhance their relative national power. The world-wide cost is the rents it can extract from consumers around the world.
The Times closes its editorial with this, "The United States has made some progress at the World Trade Organization against the theft of intellectual property in China. But it must be much more vigilant and aggressive."
We should all mourn the deep ignorance and sophistry that lies behind that conclusion.