This happens every time and it's honestly pretty sickening. The very idea that huge masses of people, in the most populous country in the world, could be "brainwashed" or "controlled" is racist and xenophobic rhetoric itself, and it's disgusting. Mainland Chinese people are not any less intelligent, educated, "free-thinking" etc than you. There is no such thing as large-scale national "brainwashing"- you just think that you and yours are more intellectually capable and "freer" than Chinese people are. That's the exact same yellow peril rhetoric the west has regurgitated for a long time. The fact that many mainland Chinese people support the CPC and don't want western model democracy is only so incredibly hard to accept if you believe, totally uncritically, that the West is the greatest and therefore it's common sense that everyone should want to imitate it and to overthrow governments which oppose it. Hong Kong "protestors" have brutally attacked the elderly who challenge their uncivil behavior and anti-PRC positions, destroyed people's shop fronts and livelihoods who they suspect to be pro-PRC, etc. But they are covered by western media as saints begging for freedom because their interests align with the imperial interests of the U.S and it's allies. They don't wave the colonial union jack for nothing.