Although they received relatively few scholarships in absolute terms, it appears that Beijing pays outsized attention to small Pacific island states. When population is taken into account, Tonga, Samoa, and Fiji received the highest numbers of Chinese government scholarships per capita.
EAP students often view Chinese scholarships—which not only cover tuition fees, but also provide stipends to subsidize travel, housing, and living costs—as more generous than those offered by other countries. However, contrary to popular belief, we find that Chinese government scholarships were actually less generous than those provided by the US, UK, Japan, Australia, and other countries. After adjusting for purchasing power parity, Chinese scholarships carried roughly two-thirds of the value of most scholarships offered by other developed nations in relative terms.
Source: Influencing the Narrative, Ties That Bind.