If the citizens of China aren't outwardly protesting some of the decisions and directions of the CCP, that makes it much harder for people to separate the two. Massive surveillance? Most of the citizens seem ok with it. Dystopian "social credit" system? They seem ok with that one too. Blocking search engines and forcing filtered results? They don't seem to mind that either. Suppressing information about a deadly pandemic? See where I'm going? Unless there are mass protests regarding some of the things the CCP does, people will just lump them in together (which is what the CCP wants, apparently). It's not right, but that same thing happens all over the world. People rarely separate any citizens from their government. No, it's not right, but that's how the world currently works, unfortunately.