"Are you unfamiliar with the Chinese approach to patents? A patent provides no protection within China, hence the enormous range of knock-off Chinese goods"
Actually a patent _IN CHINA_ provides the same protection in China that a patent in the USA provides in the USA or a UK patent provides in the UK.
If you can't be bothered patenting in all applicable countries then expect this to happen. If a chinese manufacturer is making somehting that's patented in the USA then he has zero liabilities unles he's also the one importing and selling it in the USA.
You can thank the USA for this kettle of worms. They set up laws so they could conveniently ignore other countries' patents/copyrights/Intellectual Property until it suited them not to. Now what goes around has come around.