August 6, 2010


Recently, in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), China toppled Japan to secure the second position globally, after US. In fact, China was very close to achieving this feat the last year itself, but fell short at the last moment. As per reports, if China keeps growing at its current pace, then by 2025, it should topple the US to become the largest economy of the world. Who could have imagined that an economy, which was languishing till about three decades back, has put itself in such formidable position? What is even more amazing is the fact that at a point in time when the world economy is still recovering from the global recession, China kept on growing. The growth has been such that in 2005, it first overtook Britain and France; then in 2007, it surpassed Germany to secure the position of the third largest economy of the world. It is not that the growth did not bring in iniquitous distribution of wealth; but then, at the same time, China has managed to pull out a staggering 600 million people out of poverty – a record which no other country has achieved so far.

Going by media reports, it doesn’t seem that many experts are appreciative of the Chinese growth. In fact even now, most in the developed world still cannot fathom the fact that China can be a serious contender in the new economic order. Much of this is owing to the fact that irrespective of its number 2 position, China still remains a developing country, as its current per capita is still 10 times lesser of that of Japan. But then, what most miss out on is the fact that China is in no hurry to prove itself. China has moved step by step in terms of consolidating its position. They have never bothered about the criticisms that they faced on humanitarian issues, or the kind of global cynicism that they faced by keeping their currency purposefully undervalued. Their objective has been very clear – which gets reflected in the manner in which they have planned every step. From the very beginning, China has been extremely scientific and systematic in its approach. And more than that, the growth has come out of great sacrifice collectively made by the Chinese citizens. China has systematically moved people into manufacturing and today China manufactures almost half of the global produce. Thus today, a Walmart retains the topmost position in the Fortune list by selling goods that are being made in China. And all this has not come in a day. It has been an outcome of years of planning. China today boasts of an investment which is a mind numbing 40% of GDP! Even at its peak, the US managed around 18%. Even countries like ours are managing 18%. Additionally, the Chinese investment mobilization has been far more prudent than any other country’s efforts. They have systematically invested in infrastructure, which not only created jobs, but also helped in creating a world class environment for trade. But then, their biggest credit has been in terms of the investments that they made in education. As per reports in 1998, around 3 million students were undertaking Chinese higher education; this increased to around 8 million in a matter of just 4 years. And investments have just not been in higher education – starting from English training, to vocational training to the investments that they made in science and technology. Such has been the outcome that their investments in education alone add up to almost 6% to their growth; and this would be sustained over a period of time. Today, China produces patents, the number of which is only second to the US! Not just this, they received severe criticism from all quarters when they pro-actively went ahead with their engagement with Iran. They did so not just with Iran to but with Sudan as well, for they knew that energy security is key to their dominance in global trade.

In order to have a better understanding of what the Chinese have achieved in the last two decades, one needs to compare it with India. The Indian economy, which used to be almost 80% of that of Chinese economy as recent as two decades back, now remains a menial 25%! While the Chinese feel underachieved at a staggering $4 trillion plus economy, we celebrated our $1 trillion mark! While sometime back there, China created history by hosting the greatest sporting spectacle, Olympics, we all know what we are doing to the Commonwealth games! Increasingly, any comparison between India and China is getting banal! It is not that we do not have our own advantages, but the Chinese have gone far ahead and are increasingly going farther. If reports are to be believed, we too would reach the number 2 position economically by 2040; but that too, if we keep growing between 8 to 9% year on year, which in itself is a huge challenge. It is now foolish to compare India to China; rather, it is more sensible to learn a lesson or two from the Chinese. Not just for growth, but more for the sake of those 300 million who have been languishing in poverty!



lipi mukherjee said...

Good work as far as the statistics collection is concerned but things are not going to change just by praising china on the blogs. Real time work has to be done and that we expect from an influential persona like you. India is as much yours as it is ours so instead of always criticising it, give ways so that we can work together for a similar or even higher growth. The parameters are not going to help.Also for a change please do glorify India as there are many things you can be proud of, once in a while....

Pratik Agrawal said...

It is not foolish now but it was foolish from the starting of comparison. We don't have long term vision but there are many short term. Every project and policy of India is good but the implementation of these has been major hurdle in India's progress. Despite all these corruptions India is growing very fast. This shows that we have great potential but need an intention to do good.

Manuj said...

India, if becomes strong in power sector, transport, infrastructure. Everything is convenient which escalates the efficiency of people.

Vipul said...

Contradictory perspective out here

timeforchange said...

India has got nothing started from our independence sir , we are achievers only in growing population , corruption, and so called stupid fake culture ,India's fate was decided from the start when pandit ji , and other politician opt for populism in democracy rather then sense and value .we call ourself brightest mind of the world but we are just mindless workers , there is nothing we have achieved in area of art sport , and science too . how a country which is sleeping in fast sleep ,could wake up suddenly and start working in a right direction .sir me plese tell how's that going to happen .

Anonymous said...


Mun said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mun said...

Hi Ya-Wu Yuting Qi
Thanks for using the appropriate proverb:
"If you criticize. You have no time to love."

I agree.

And in addition I would say

to make things better analyse rather than criticize.

manish said...

nice article displaying china's economic trends, bt when it comes to india, i wud say, its nt abt hw india is trying/crawling to find its place as a developed country, its abt the system, which is operating india (which remains in critics all year around). We can easily compare the systems of India and china, there is a lot of difference. India's greatest strength is the people of India the people, who can rip apart any stats with their efforts. Bt the system which is supposed to drive India forward in a prosperous direction ,who has got the power to modify India, is a matter of deep concern. People who hav hands on stearing, are more dedicated to personal gains than public welfare. The time when the stearing comes in right hands, i.e the youth, India will go all guns blazing to prove itself as a great power

Arpit said...

Nice one...!!
Showing original position of our country...!!

When we r fight for castism , reservation,
than how we can grow like china..!!

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Anonymous said...

Child labor is eating up the world from inside and we are not even noticing.
We have been blessed to have had a good education-thanks to our parents..
But then again there are some children in this country who can not even write their own names. Is it not then up to us to make sure that these children also get the education that they deserve.

Spread the joy of reading, share the love. Be the voice for the millions people to PROMOTE EDUCATION In India
Stand Up Take Action 2010.We need you…

Globally more than 173 Million people stood up against poverty in 2009, a Guinness World Record!

Let us break this record in 2010!


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Technology Journal said...

Learning from performers and benchmarking is never a problem.

But it is also important to diagnose the Indian system. A stable govt. ( single party ) at the center can achive much more than a set of horses pulling the cart in 10 directions.

PPP can help India develop its infrastructure at a much faster rate.

Laerning by doing mistakes will take the Indian route to a higher non-linear growth curve, but risk taking is required by the politicians.

Strong leadership is required and a more involved approach is required by the corporates to develop India, by maybe having a High Performance CEO made a Honorory minister in all govts, regardless of party.

Naarebaazi se desh nahi chalta. Concrete growth requires concrete action, planning and execution skills.


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Vivek John Varghese said...

honestly i have no complaints about what has been said in the article except one problem that i identify.

China underwent historical transformation that killed millions of its people in the cultural revolution and even today suppresses numerous human rights and freedom across its territory; and maintains political prison camps and prisoners; enforces iron discipline bordering on human rights violations to achieve ehat it has achieved....

are you saying sir that we need to go down the same path??


"Lies, Dmnd lies & stats...". What are we comparing? India's BLACK economy is said to be 7X the white economy. If yes, then a TRUE growth rate is not 8% but actually only 1% (similar for China?). Long Term Strategy for businesses, states that any vertical (say telecom) is DOMINATED by max 3 players who own 80% of the customers, the remaining 20% is fragmented players. In GEO politics, India will HAVE to CHOOSE between becoming USA's 52nd state or China's Lower and Western Kingdom...or get Balkanised. It is infantile to speak of India/USA as "EQUAL" partners, because India does NOT have the privelege to PRINT $$$$ which the world MUST BUY to buy Oil (Petrodollars) or "police" the S-Asian neighbourhood as USA would where did I put the coffee..anyone wake up and smell it??

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