There are some very good answers and I want to supplement with some historical perspective.
After Communism, there was a goal of creating a national sport by standardizing Chinese martial arts in the form of Wushu. This did indeed result in oppression of traditional schools, but it's also important to note that the group who created the first generation of standardized form all came from traditional lineages. (The 67 combined Tai Chi form is a good example of integrating core techniques from most of the major styles of Tai Chi.)
The original standardized forms were still focused on martial application, as opposed to "flash".
It's also important to recognize that Chinese martial arts were never separate from performing arts, as "medicine shows", where practitioners would perform in the streets for coins, were common. Thus flashy, crowd-pleasing tricks have a long history that predates modern Wushu, and it's doubtful that serious practitioner didn't recognize the difference between these and practical techniques.
After the initial period in the 1950's, contemporary Wushu evolved further, with the goal of becoming an Olympic sport. My understanding that this is the main driver of what mattm astutely described as "martially-inspired gymnastics". And it's not that those practitioners are not strong, just that the contemporary art is not combat-optimized, but optimized for judging in routine-based competition, like ice skating and gymnastics. (Even the early standardization facilitated judging by introducing compulsory forms.)
Tai Chi is an instructive a good example in that, at a certain point, competitors were required to make their back straight, which is antithetical to the martial practice of tai chi, to facilitate judging—specifically determining that the weight is definitively on the proper foot. (This was the point when my own teacher, a top competitor in their own right stopped having students participate in competition.) High-level Hsing-yi often involves concealing where the weight is, and this obviously presents problems from a judging standpoint.
Also notable that KungFu movies goes back to at least the 1920's. The original stuntpeople came out of traditional schools, and later the Chinese studio system set up its own schools to train actors. During the Jet Li era, the Beijing Wushu team became a feeder into the Chinese action-film industry. (The original Shaolin Temple features the best competitors and teachers from that era, and led to Li becoming an international star.)
- Most contemporary Wushu is entirely within the performing arts tradition of Chinese Martial arts, which have a long history in Chinese Opera and "sword dances", even prior to action cinema.
But it's also important to recognize: top contemporary wushu competitors, like gymnasts, have exceptional core strength, are incredibly fast such that it’s unlikely that they can be engaged if they choose not to engage, are exceptionally flexible and train in a range of movements which allow them of get out of locks, and, if thrown, are arguably the most likely to land on their feet, which also has application in getting out of some locks.
- While contemporary Wushu (routines) are not combat oriented, it’s still a form of martial arts in that it can work well for self defense when young.
The exception is Sanshou/Sanda, and you do seem some Chinese Sanshou champions in MMA. But my sense is it's not as emphasized because there is not the national goal of Sanda becoming an Olympic sport.
And, again, Chinese practitioners, both performers and fighters, have an historical pathway into stuntwork and film, which is typically less punishing than prizefighting. (Jackie Chan, trained in an opera school, is famous partly for having broken most of the bones in his body, but avoided traumatic brain injury. Chan has had a significantly longer career than any modern prizefighter, and remains one of the wealthiest martial artists in history.)