If Newsweek is to be believed, this may be changing under the new party head Xi Jinping. Link:
In a nutshell, Xi seems to be aware of a national exhaustion with general bullshit. He's all about streamlining official functions, reducing government waste, enforcing laws consistently, and even expanding civil rights a little. But all of this is being done with the purpose of building a stronger and more stable nation, which seems to make China's regional rivals a little worried:
Indeed, a stronger mandate for China’s new mandarins could make its neighbors even more nervous, not less. Mushrooming grassroots nationalism has prodded Beijing to become more assertive in territorial disputes with Japan and a number of Southeast Asian countries over islands in the South and East China Seas.
It occurs to me that the United States didn't have this same problem as a growing superpower. Certainly there were brushes with Canada and Mexico (the latter having more reason than the former to be grumpy about it) but in the long run a stable status quo was reached that everybody is living with now. No such stability exists in eastern Asia, where even the borders are still under dispute.