As China becomes stronger economically and militarily, the persistence of communist rule causes other nations (worldwide, not just neighbors) to be nervous. That's because politicians who get into trouble tend to try and distract their angry citizens with real or imagined foreign threats. Chinese propaganda plays on this regularly, and Chinese diplomats are still surprised to find that their foreign counterparts are aware of this, and unhappy with this domestic saber rattling. Foreign nations are also disturbed by the Chinese tendency to assist other dictatorships (in return for economic benefits). Thus Chinese support for Libya, Iran, North Korea, Zimbabwe and others is looked down on, and Chinese diplomats have a hard time defending these relationships. Meanwhile, China is made to look more like a predatory monster because of it.Um, as it stands now, China pretty much is a predatory monster. There is no justification for supporting such scum as Muammar Gadhafi. Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, Ali Khamenei, Kim Jong-Il and Robert Mugabe. None. You want international respect, China? Support the good guys, not the bad guys.
The predatory activity is more feared because China often does not even admit what it is doing. Officially, China is not engaged in Cyber War or Internet based espionage. But a growing pile of evidence says otherwise. Continued Chinese denials are not only annoying and frustrating, but have become the source of disdain for China in the world community. This does bother the Chinese, but if you want international respect, you have to at least try to play by the rules.
Until that time, the Chinese government will be seen for what it is: a malevolent force on the world stage.