**China Congratulates Obama on Election Victory**
China's Communist leaders have congratulated U.S. President Barack Obama on his re-election victory, even as Beijing turns its focus toward its own political transition that gets underway this week.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei told reporters that President Hu Jintao and his soon-to-be-successor, Vice President Xi Jinping, look forward to working with Mr. Obama to advance Sino-American relations.
"Maintaining a steady, healthy and stable development of China-U.S. relations serves the fundamental interests of the two countries and the two peoples as well as peace, stability and development of the Asia Pacific region and beyond. China is ready to work with the U.S. side, look to the future and make continuous efforts for fresh and greater progress in the building of China-U.S. cooperative partnership and deliver greater benefits to the two peoples and people of the world."
China's leaders did not publicly support either Mr. Obama or his Republican challenger Mitt Romney, both of whom vowed during the campaign to get tough on China if elected.
An editorial in the official Xinhua news agency on Tuesday expressed hope that the end of the campaign would also bring an end to what it called the "China-bashing game" of each candidate.
Another article in the Communist Party-controlled Global Times lectured Washington on the shortcomings of its electoral process. The editorial says Chinese citizens should "be wary of populism led by democracy," warning that U.S. politicians are more interested in winning votes than working for the people.
The timing of the U.S. election has highlighted China's very different political transition. The secretive, behind-the-scenes process begins Thursday with the 18th Party Congress in the heavily guarded capital, Beijing.
During the meeting, President Hu Jintao is set to transfer the position of secretary general of the Communist Party to Vice President Xi Jinping. Mr. Xi will take over early next year as president for the next decade.
A party spokesperson said Wednesday that the congress will begin early Thursday and last until November 14th.
茶国家网 Tea Leaf Nation 的编辑 Rachel 鲁告诉美国之音，中国网民也在网上表示更喜欢美国的选举程序。茶国家网主要是监督中国的社交网站。
**Chinese Get Taste of U.S. Electoral Process With Mock Vote**
About 200 Chinese citizens got a taste of the U.S. electoral process when they took part in a mock vote hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Beijing on Wednesday, just a day before China begins its own very different handover of power.
Chinese voters at the event overhwelmingly voted for President Barack Obama over his Republican rival Mitt Romney. The voters were part of a larger group of about 600 guests who attended the election-watching party that has become a tradition at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.
A U.S. embassy spokesperson told VOA the event was meant to teach foreigners, including Chinese, about the details of the American electoral process. The event was held to coincide with the November 6th U.S. election. The mock vote occurred just one day before the 18th Party Congress in Beijing -- a secretive meeting that will usher in China's next generation of Communist leaders.
Many of the mock voters did not ignore the contrast between the U.S. election and the rigid, non-democratic Chinese leadership transition, telling foreign reporters they wish to be able to someday choose their own leaders in China.
Rachel Lu, the editor of Tea Leaf Nation, a website that monitors Chinese social media, tells VOA that Chinese web users are also expressing their preference for the U.S. electoral process online.
"(They) expressed a lot of admiration for the electoral process in the U.S. and the fact that people can exercise their right to vote. We just wrote an article on this on our website and quoted someone who tweeted that he actually felt happy that Obama was elected, but that he had no similar feelings about the 18th Party Congress."
Lu says more than 3 million U.S. election-related microblog messages were posted on Sina Weibo, China's largest social media outlet, in a 24-hour period leading up to the vote.
She said Mr. Obama's re-election was well-received on Chinese microblogs, citing an unscientific survey by Sina Weibo that found more than 75 percent of respondents supporting the incumbent U.S. president.
But she said the Chinese political process has failed to generate similar excitement among many web users, saying that many feel disconnected from the country's political process.
A survey last month for Pew Research Center suggests more than half of the people in the single-party state have a positive opinion of American ideas about democracy.