China usually comes out. In Washington, Wall Street, and corporate boardrooms, Beijing has used its size and promises for decades to stave off resistance and reward those who helped raise.
These days may come to an end.
As it struggles with President Trump's trade war, a ripening and debt-laden China discovers that it no longer has the same traits. Members of both political parties in the United States favor a tougher stance against Beijing. Some old business communities are on the sidelines or even rejoice in the trump administration's strong stands.
Many US companies with large, profitable businesses in China do not want to pay expensive tariffs and worry about the US counteracting the Chinese population, said Ker President of the US Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai Gibbs . However, many of the same companies also chop on the many restrictions China has long maintained on foreign companies .
"We're looking at their expanding into global markets and saying," Wait a minute, why can't we do it here? "Gibbs says.
China's economic downturn, which may impede global growth, is a major cause of ebbed influence, but there are other factors: the country's large debt, built up over many years of lending, used to stimulate growth. Limit the options If it strongly opposes the United States by devaluing its currency or closure plants that are crucial to global supply chains, the movements can ricochette and damage their own newfound assets.
Foreign companies have found it less attractive to make or sell their products in China over the last few years due to heavy restrictions on foreign businesses, stronger local competitors and rising costs. Last year Mr. Trump's tariffs gave many companies one last reason to look elsewhere.
Call it ABC supply chain , as in "anywhere, but China."
On Wednesday, Kelly A. said Kramer Finance Officer for Cisco, the major telecom provider Control that the company had "greatly reduced" its exposure to China because of tariffs.
Morey, a company near Chicago that makes rugged electronics for bulldozers and other outdoor equipment, reluctantly paid more for printed circuit boards made in China after Mr. Trump assumed 10 percent tariffs of $ 200 billion a year in Chinese imports last harvest .
With these numbers now rising to 25 percent, Morey leaders have started talking to suppliers in Taiwan, South Korea, and Singapore.
"I thought this is a short-term problem that will go away," said George Whittier, the company's president and chief executive, "and I don't think you can rationally think it any more."  China has many cards. There is still a huge profit source for Apple, Boeing, General Motors, Starbucks and other major companies. It can use its substantial economic fire and government control over key economic lifters to endure a long-term trade conflict, while state-run media stores are interfering with home discontent.
Chinese officials and experts say the country can stand up to the Western pressure. Even some more market-oriented lawyers say Beijing should only make its own decisions now instead of linking them to a trade pact with Washington.
"China should focus on its own reform, which will eventually resolve some current trade-warring issues," said Zhu Ning an economics from Tsinghua University.
Still, China has lost some of the swagger and appeal who once opened so many doors in Washington and on Wall Street.
China has long used its enormous size and growth potential as both carrot and stick. Companies that played by their rules could access a market by Over a billion people becoming increasingly prosperous and eager to use. Businesses complaining could be left out.
It seemed, GM and other companies explained as being forced to touch local joint venture partners, knowing they trained future competitors, General Electric sold a complete diesel locomotive from Erie, Pa., to China, and taught the Chinese to build themselves, Apple censoring its App Store in China. A Google protested against censorship and hacking, it was largely thrown out.
Business then helped to make China's case in Washington. When China wanted to join appointed World Trade Organization, the Global Trade Club, Wall Street's help. Companies helped persuade successive US presidents to refrain from punishing China for manipulating their currency, even though Beijing manipulated its currency. They struggled to raise tariffs.
China is important to many companies, but the dynamics have shifted. It is still growing at a pace that developed land envy. But the economy has slowed significantly from prices as recently as 2010 peaked at 10 percent a year. Since Xi Jinping took power in 2012, the government has taken a stronger hand in the business and requires foreign companies to link with the Communist Party and demand access to data.
Beijing has fewer ways to turn back towards the United States now. The tremendous success of maintaining its own home-made industry, which has helped China's economy increase its value chain, has reduced its imports of US goods, resulting in fewer tariffs.
Ten years ago, China bought the Jeep team in Michigan by Chrysler, bulldozers and other construction equipment made in Illinois by Caterpillar and large diesel engines made in Indiana by Cummins. Now Chrysler is doing Jeeps in Changsha and Guangzhou. Caterpillar makes construction machinery in Xuzhou. And Cummins builds engines at the Beijing, Chongqing, Hefei, Liuzhou, Xi'an and Xiangyang factories.
"China has been so effective in pushing produced imports out of its market that it has really limited its options in return," said Brad Setser a state-authorized official in the Obama administration, now an economist in the Council for Foreign Relations
China's imports from the United States now fall mostly into four major categories: Boeing aircraft from Washington State; semiconductors, mainly from Intel factories in Oregon ; farm products and energy from Great Plains and Texas; and German-branded sports utility vehicles from South Carolina and Alabama. While China can still shake the US political system if any strong retaliation causes economic growth in the United States, it has fewer opportunities to target electoral states and damage Mr Trump's opportunities for re-election next year.
Relaxing tax on these industries may also have major drawbacks. China needs these chips for their technological upgrades. Targeted Boeing aircraft would shift more Chinese business to Airbus, giving the European aircraft more influence in negotiations with Beijing. In agriculture, China still does not grow enough soybeans to meet its needs, and higher tariffs on US crops can simply mean higher food prices down the line.
China has also shown surprising vulnerabilities, such as dependence on American semiconductor technology and software. Last year, when the United States briefly banned US companies from selling technology to the Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE to violate sanctions against Iran and North Korea, ZTE stopped.
"The trade friction has also been a cold shower that has enabled us to see our structural deficiencies more clearly," said a comment on the front page of People's Daily on Monday, bearing a pen name used to signal authoritative positions on international relations.
China has options in addition to tariffs, but they also have disadvantages .
It can sell a great deal of $ 1.3 billion in US government debt it has. It can temporarily push up US interest rates. But it would saddle China with big losses. Beijing had to find another place to park the money. Its previous sales, which were mainly made to land the country's currency in 2015 and early 2016, did not affect the bond market much.
Another option would be for China to push its currency into value against the dollar, making the item cheaper abroad and compensating for US rates. If you do so, the Trump administration can raise their rates even higher . It can also tempt other countries to devalue their currencies and determine a potentially expensive currency war. And a Chinese devaluation can cause Chinese families and households to send their own savings out of the country.
China may crack down on US-owned factories in China or on those essential to the supply chain of US companies. But which can lead to still more multinational companies to consider leaving the country.
The dilemma of China is that the longer the trade war lasts, the more companies can decide to invest elsewhere. For now, domestic policy seems to be more important in China, with the management and the public reacting angry to what is portrayed in the country as required US requirements.
"We have the confidence and ability to resist any external risks and consequences," Geng Shuang, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, said on Thursday.
Chris Buckley helped report. Luz Ding and Elsie Chen contributed to research.