In its latest report released on Wednesday, 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 watch China's progress in implementing the China-US phase one trade agreement in 2020. The USTR releases a report each year about intellectual property infringements by trading partner, following its Special 301 investigation. The report is intended to protect US businesses, but in reality it is aimed at nothing more than providing a pretext for the US government to bully trading partners that it considers unfriendly and unwilling to bow to US pressure. Most countries on the list are perceived US geopolitical adversaries, including China, Russia and Venezuela. The conflict was cited by the USTR this year, when it removed Ukraine from the top priority list. The US has previously listed Ukraine, citing various intellectual property infringements in the country. The report on China imposes punitive tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Chinese products is what former US President Donald Trump used 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. No one in China or elsewhere will take the accusations seriously, because the report is more of a political tool and lacks credibility. China has made great strides in the protection of intellectual property in recent years through various legislative and regulatory efforts. 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 is just a piece of paper filled with the same baseless claims that can be discarded as a piece of trash. The growing signs of the Biden administration trying to keep the former US administration's toxic trade policies intact, but the attempt to escalate the trade war with China is worrisome. The Biden administration continues to crack down on an ever-growing list of Chinese companies, despite growing opposition from and lawsuits filed by US businesses. US officials have also threatened consequences if China doesn't follow its sanctions against Russia. With all the lies and threats, the Biden administration seems to be beating the drums of a trade war. 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. After all the punitive actions it has taken against China over the past several years, Washington has very few options in its bag of tricks that can exert meaningful pressure on China. 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.