China usually gets its way. In Washington, on Wall Street and in corporate boardrooms, Beijing has used the country’s size and promise for decades to quell opposition and reward those who helped its rise. Those days may be coming to an end.
As it struggles with President Trump’s trade war, a maturing and debt-laden China is discovering that it no longer has the same pull. Members of both political parties in the United States favor a tougher stance against Beijing. Some old business allies are standing on the sidelines or even cheering the Trump administration’s strong stands. China could still prevail on the trade war’s major issues. But the conflict’s length and severity reflect the growing perception that the country no longer holds the promise that once enthralled politicians and businesses in the United States.