When looking at China and trying to evaluate the people, sentiments, politics, and ultimately, culture, there might be some "big pictures" that could be easily missed.
Notice: below are my personal opinions as a Chinese guy (age 40) living in China, and I'm not working for any organization.
First one being the saturation of consumer technology, namingly the mobile phones and mobile network. I believe more than 90% of the population is "online" now, with mobile coverage (mostly 5G). That's a critical mass, something never happened in history. To be honest, it is a direct result because the government has been actively pushing for it.
Second being that, China has traditionally been ruled by a centralised imperial government that has exercised a high degree of control over society. Everything "politics" in China evolves from this stem.
Adding above two points together: if you live in a "free" country ,and if you hear something "bizzare" from within China, don't be surprised and don't doubt yourself. At least you are already hearing everything from everyone.
Third, Forth, Fifth, etc., please give me some time...
All the being said, it doesn't mean that everything won't change, or that the country or the people living there will continue think and behave as always. Stay tuned and you will get the latests update about things happening in China that would worth a discussion.