From a moral standpoint nothing has fundamentally changed about China; it has never not had an authoritarian government throughout its entire historical existence. All that’s changed is (A) a virus which could easily have been met with an “Oh crap let’s all get together and fix this” from the rest of the world, and (B) a hysterically escalated propaganda campaign designed to grease the wheels for pre-existing geostrategic agendas. When you’ve got actual, literal spooks showing up on mainstream news organizations telling their audience based on no evidence that their government may have been infiltrated by Chinese intelligence agencies, what you have is a propaganda campaign.
You can argue that the disproportionate fixation on the HK protests to the exclusion of all other protests is due to China being more newsworthy than other nations, but in order to do that you need to pretend that France is some remote third-world country that doesn’t affect the west at all. And indeed you tacitly acknowledged this earlier now that I think about it, saying “The protests in Hong Kong, for better or for worse, are more newsworthy than those in Ecuador, Haiti, or Chile because they involve China.” You deliberately omitted France. Address this please.