The idea of “free trade” with China began with the British Empire then functioning as a drug cartel.
The economic and technical assistance was accompanied by a large increase in trade between the two countries, which helped China repay the credits.
But it was accomplished without the concept of intellectual property as we understand it today.
The following year, China joined the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
TRIPS, or the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, is an agreement among all members of the WTO that sets minimum standards for the protection of intellectual property.