In its latest report released on Wednesday US time, the US Trade Representative USTR put China on its so-called Priority Watch List of trading partners that it deems to have lacked proper protection of intellectual property rights. Senior USTR officials said that the Biden administration will continue to monitor China's progress in implementing the China-US phase one trade agreement in 2020. A report from the USTR is released each year on intellectual property infringements by trading partner. The report is intended to protect US businesses, but in reality it aims at providing a pretext for the US government to bully trading partners that it considers unfriendly and unwilling to bow to US pressure. The countries on the list are perceived US geopolitical adversaries, including China, Russia and Venezuela. This year the USTR removed Ukraine from the top priority list, citing the conflict. The US has previously listed Ukraine, citing various intellectual property infringements in the country. The report that imposed punitive tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of Chinese products was used by former US President Donald Trump as a pretext to wage a trade war on China in 2018. Given the Biden administration's hostile approach to China, it would be a huge surprise if the US removed China from the list. The report is more of a political tool and lacks credibility, which is why no one in China or elsewhere will take the accusations seriously. China has made a lot of strides in the past few years in enhancing the protection of intellectual property. China has beaten the US in international patent filings for three consecutive years and that lead continues to expand. In 2021, Chinese applicants filed 69,540 Patent Cooperation Treaty applications, compared with 59,570 applications filed by their US counterparts, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization. The protection of its massive intellectual property is in China's national interest. It does not need the US government to keep reminding it what to do and how to do it, nor does it need the US government's assessments on its progress. The US Special 301 report on China is essentially just a piece of paper filled with the same baseless claims that can be discarded as a piece of trash. The Biden administration is trying to keep the US administration's toxic trade policies intact, but its attempts to escalate the trade war with China. The Biden administration has continued to crack down on an ever-growing list of Chinese companies, despite growing opposition from and lawsuits filed by US businesses. The US officials have also threatened consequences if China doesn't follow its sanctions against Russia. The Biden administration seems to be beating the drums of a trade war with all the lies and threats. If Washington is counting on lies and threats to pressure China, it is heading for disappointment. The multi-year trade war did not hold China back, as it was intended to do. Washington has very few options in its bag of tricks that can exert significant pressure on China after all the punitive actions it has taken against China over the past several years. Any further escalation of the US trade war will only rub salt into the wounds of US businesses and the US economy, which is already reeling from dangerous levels of inflation.