As I always say the world’s perception on China can not keep up with the pace of China’s development. It’s not anybody’s fault but China as it just develops too quickly in mere 20 years.
First let me correct the question a little bit. There are totally about 700K Chinese students go studying abroad every year, and half of them go to US before 2021, when US starts limiting the student visas on Chinese students. This might be out of everybody’s wildest imagination because paying out-of-state tuition is a nightmare for most US parents. Yes, China now has a huge middle class level that can afford to send their kids to private school. And the GDP per capita of china is 11K as of now, a country of 1.4 billion people.
Now let’s circle back to the question itself, when whoever asks this question, he/she still holds old cliques from the cold war era that China is pretty much like North Korea or Soviet Union who are often mentioned in various scaries stories:-)
For that purpose I will recommend you to plan a trip to China to see how it looks like rather than how it sounds like. After all there are 140 millions Chinese people spend their vacation in the foreign countries every year before the pandemic, so how you imagine they don’t have a proper evaluation on the censorship back home?