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From the aspect of psychological warfare(1), however, it is hard for Chinese to "feel" this is weird or dystopian, given all the inconvenience. One does complain about the party or Xi if he has guts, but at the end of the day, he may still believe the policies are necessary for national security.

This sounds just like an example of biased sample fallacy, so I ask you to do this experiment with your Chinese friends. See if they criticize CCP or Xi and what their judgement about the policies are.

(1) As the frontier of democracy, Taiwan suffers from all kinds of attack from China every day, from physical to cyber ones. To counter that, a retired military officer wrote a series of blogs(2) to mentor all Taiwanese the right ways to fight psychological warfare against China. The main donts is exactly "don't criticize CCP or Xi ... it has no or even negative effects."

(2) The title of the series is somehow pessimistic: "Lost without a Fight: On Cross-Strait Psychological Warfare." All written in Traditional Chinese: https://www.thenewslens.com/article/105952

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