And why are they so clueless?
Put yourself in the shoes of a Party cadre-flunky tasked to write a report on Hongkongers and their objectives. If the flunky goes for an objective and intelligent analysis without resorting to using only Maoist/Stalinist lingo and concepts he (they're invariably males) can expect to be sent to re-education for possessing counter-revolutionary thoughts!
The only arguments speaking for CCP's dictatorship vs liberal Hongkongers managing their own affairs are based on ignorance, sycophancy/greed or fear.
It is simply impossible to write a factual report that flatters the CCP with Xi Dada (and his thoughts) at its helm; therefore such factual reports will never be written.
The ignorant Party bosses should know this and therefore have only themselves to blame for not turning to reports by independent third parties or Hong Kong academics.