The final weeks of outgoing US President Donald Trump’s term are being marked by a slew of actions against Beijing seemingly aimed at burnishing an anti-Chinese legacy. Coming on top of several years of trade, technology, human rights and diplomatic measures against an avowed rival, the objective would appear to be making a reversal of policy as difficult as possible for his successor, Joe Biden. Given that negative sentiment towards Beijing is bipartisan among American lawmakers, and the most pressing challenges for the incoming administration when it takes office on January 20 are the economy and Covid-19, China is down the priority list. But whatever the approach, there is no denying that the world’s two biggest economies should be cooperating, not at loggerheads. Barely a week goes by without new penalties. The US commerce department published on Tuesday a blacklist of 58 Chinese entities, which included the Hong Kong Government Flying Service. Last Friday, China‘s top chip maker, SMIC, featured on a similar list of 60 Chinese firms, along with the world’s leading drone manufacturer, DJI, which was said to have helped Beijing commit human rights abuses. Such listing restricts the buying of a wide range of US products and use of technologies. But no evidence of wrongdoing for any case has been presented. Hong Kong’s Government Flying Service lands on US commerce department blacklist Trump last week also signed the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act that would remove scores of Chinese firms from US stock exchanges if they fail to comply with auditing oversight rules within three years. While it could force them from American markets, they could still attract investors by listing elsewhere, such as the mainland, Hong Kong or Singapore. Other recent moves have included the imposing of sanctions against 14 vice-chairmen of the National People’s Congress for involvement in Hong Kong’s national security law, and the cancellation of five cultural exchange programmes accused of being “soft-power propaganda tools”. Each time, Beijing responds with condemnation, promised retaliation or like-minded measures. Every tit-for-tat action sinks relations lower, making it more difficult for Biden to unravel decisions and repair the damage, should he choose to do so. Biden has chosen an experienced foreign policy team with many members known for their pragmatism. Mending bilateral relations is in the interests of both countries and the world. Economic growth and prosperity, supply chains, technological development and peace and stability depend on them cooperating. Biden’s taking office will mark the end of an era of irrational US policy towards China and he has to do his best to get ties quickly back on track.