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Trade power tensions, regulatory hurdles and attempts by the West to counter Chinese competition are delaying a return of the 737 Max in China, frustrating Boeing Co. as a potential rival demonstrates its growing influence.

Six months after the West lifted an almost two-year flight ban on the Max, there is no clear end in sight for the crisis surrounding Boeing’s fastest-selling jet in China — the first nation to ground it in 2019 after two deadly crashes in five months.

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