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India and China: Learning From Each Other


Srikanth Kondapalli

CHINA AND INDIA IN THE AGE OF GLOBALIZATION
Edited by Shalendra D. Sharma
Cambridge University Press,Cambridge, 2009, pp. 321+xiv, Rs. 895.00

INDIA-CHINA: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF FDI POLICY AND PERFORMANCE
Edited by Ashok Kundra
Academic Foundation, New Delhi, 2009, pp. 284, Rs. 795.00

VOLUME XXXIV NUMBER 8 August 2010

In the last decade, there have been several assessments in the media, business, policy and academic communities on the simultaneous rise of China and India and what it means domestically for both these countries, vis-a-vis each other as well as for the global power structure. These were highlighted, and legitimized, by the Goldman Sachs report of 2003 that is methodologically based on capital accumulation and productivity trends in Brazil, Russia, India and China till 2050; United States National Intelligence Council’s 2020 Project on Mapping the Global Future released in 2004; and the World Bank sponsored 2007 report on Dancing with Giants which further identified the upward growth trajectory of these countries and others. Authors like Huang Yasheng and Tarun Khanna, Subramaniam Swamy, Dani Rodrik and Arvind Subramanian, David Smith and others have further contributed to our knowledge on this subject. Several of these assessments note the significant changes in these countries flowing through the 1978 four modernization programme of China and the economic liberalization efforts by India from 1991. Through these measures, China had become the largest economy in the world after the United States and Japan last year, while India broke through the trillion dollar club. Both have also largely overcome the raging financial crisis that had been afflicting the economies of the world in the last couple of years and made some progress in the poverty alleviation programmes. Among the major assessments, comparison between China and India in several socio-economic parameters had become a major theme. Overall, several assessments point out that today, China has relatively overtaken Indian in many respects – economic growth rates for more than two decades based on productivity and investment absorption, technological upgradation and human resource improvements, although some assessments view this phenomenon as enhancing asymmetries between the two most populous countries in the world. Many accounts point towards China’s consistent economic growth rates with near double digit figures and its image today as the manufacturing hub of the world (largest exporter in the world with estimates of nearly $1.2 trillion in exports in 2009), with burgeoning foreign exchange reserves (estimated at more than $2.2 trillion) indicate to increase in its profile not only in comparison with India but also with several advanced countries. This comparison between China and India is surprising, if not inexplicable, as both began their ‘tryst with destinies’ almost at the same time and same level of development in the 1940s (with Chinese per capita income estimated at ...


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