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I'm not sure either way, but "seem" may be the right word given the huge chinese population number:

1) Disregarding reality for a second, consider 2 populations (one small, one large) and then assume identical probability for a student to study abroad, say one in 30 for example. Of course there will be more student from the populous to the less populous nation... Stated otherwise, how many exchange student have you seen from Luxembourg?

2) To explain richest: it is quite conceivable that kids of the rich have better access to education, so seeing a student from China (or anywhere really) has a statistical tendency of being correlated with wealth anyway.

3) Considering best, brightest: these will have a higher probability of getting permission and / or funds to study abroad. On the other hand, have you ever compared the visiting Chinese students with those that stayed in China? Perhaps the best and brightest are staying in China...

4) In order to conclude the higher quality of education in the West, you assume that the student's motivation to study in the West is it's supposed higher quality of education. This is a circular reasoning. This may be true, or false. Other reasons for studying in the West could be they perceive it like most students perceive studies abroad: an exercise in self-reliance, temporary freedom from family obligations, a vacation in what they might perceive as Disney World / Hollywood to be combined with their studies, ... this would certainly clarify the observation of "richer" Chinese students.

Most of these variables are outside of my measurement scope, so I can make no assertions on their veracity or lack thereof. I only wish to convey that the statement you made seems to make a lot of assumptions that I consider them dangerous and naive to blindly assume, if such assumption happens collectively in order to pat each other's backs...

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