Here is a fascinating data point. A service that routinely translates mainstream Chinese news sources has these items from today's digest:
>>Global Times/Huanqiu Shibao (Daily, circ. 1.5 mil) [ 环球时报 - "Global Times," an influential but fairly raw-meat nationalist paper]
The U.S. looks for a scapegoat for its decline (pg1)
Quote: The world media believes that Americans did not take into serious consideration the current administration's policy adjustments but abruptly hoped their leader would instantly bring them back to the golden time after Cold War, which is impossible. Obama has been completely denied. It is believed to be a "thought riot" in the U.S.... Yu Wanli at Peking University's Center for International Strategic Research said that Americans will become more impatient than usual due to the elections. What Obama has encountered right now is because he has become the scapegoat for U.S. decline.
Global Times/Huanqiu Shibao (Daily, circ. 1.5 mil):
The U.S. mid-term election can hardly affect the general U.S.-China situation (pg14)
Quote: According to our experience in the past 20 years, we can conclude several rules on the relations between the U.S. elections and U.S.-China relations. It has been almost impossible not to hype China topics during major American elections. Thus China can see through the real essence of U.S. attacks on China during the elections - which were just for earning votes. The fact can also serve as a proof that China has an increasing influence on American politics. Furthermore, the influence of U.S. presidential and mid-term elections is decreasing in U.S.-China relations due to increasing mutual reliance.<<
The combination of these two items is worth reflecting on.