Why India will always be number 2 to China

The two civilisations have many things in common. Put an Indian and a Chinese together to compete, they will give each other a good run for his money. There is little to choose between the two. Why then will India always be number 2 to China? Many observers have noted the systems, customs, culture and language as the main baggages that will slow down India. This has been proven in history over the last 60 years. India gained its independence in 1947 and inherited a country with all the systems and infrastructure in tact. There were little disruption and the country continued to build up from that point in time with no major upheavals. The CCP gained control of a devastated China in 1949 and went about to destroy whatever that was old and irrelevant. China went through a crisis stage of revolution and destruction in all fields, culminating in the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s. Communist China was built on the ruins of a fallen dynasty and decadent customs and belief system. It started again on a relatively new slate in 1978 when it embarked on its four modernisations and opening up to the West. Today China has leapfrogged ahead of India and running in full steam with all engines firing. India is still taking a stroll, and making progress too, but at different pace. But these are not the main factors that is holding back India. India is targetting to overtake China to be the number 1 Asian power. It tries to compete and outdo China in every field. In areas that it is not competitive it just cry out loud that China should keep away from its sphere of influence. China on the other hand is trying to overtake the USA in all fields. What ever America is doing, China is trying to catch up. And China is catching up very fast. And this is the main reason why India will never catch up with China. It is focussing on a wrong target. The barrier that China intends to cross is way up in the sky. India is looking only at China and is already gasping for air and panting. Unless India sets its sight to overtake America, it will only be chasing China and be in China's shadow.


Wally Buffet said...

This "fight" between CHINA and india is like a bout between Muhammad "Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee" Ali (CHINA) and Sonny "Lumbering Bull" Liston (india). Guess you know who I am betting to win. We're only in round two and we see poor Sonny panting like a dying bull already.


Kaffein said...

I wouldn't say India is number 2. Both have different strengths. Just because a country is steam-rolling ahead doesn't equate successful. Look at Singapore 10 - 15 yrs ago. #1 this, #1 that.

Often than not, it is 'the slow and steady wins the race'. Look at the US and UK. Long-term planning and far-sightedness by leaders will often see a country beyond the next decade. Anyway too many factors and variable to list.

But I agree - China is currently the #1 in the world.


Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

My point is that India is using a wrong reference point. It should be in the same race as China, chasing America with America as the reference point.

Wally Buffet said...


Before you use a gold medalist as your reference point, the smart thing to do is first to overtake the silver medalist, you being the bronze or worst.

All this talk about india being able to overtake China is hogwash. Without pouring over economic data, even with the most bias extrapolation, just pay a visit to each of their big cities and you will see a world of difference. China had at least a 20 year head start. That's tantamount to a sprinter starting at least a minute ahead of the competition.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

I thnk India is doing quite well. They will be landing on the moon soon and might do it before the Chinese.

Wally Buffet said...

I cannot agree less.

They will land on the moon with their Rama rockets long after China has an orbital space station around Venus to monitor and protect the natural resources mining activities on the planet.


Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Eh Emperor of Lijiang, why must you always want to win? China can leapfrog India, India also can leapfrog over China.

The future is not for us to see.

Anonymous said...

Right Redbean. Few decades ago, nobody expected China to be what it is today.

I am Chinese, but I believe India can do what China did. They only need one enlightened person, like Deng, to move the ground for change, and they can take off.

Technologically, India is not inferior to China. It is the cultural and political differences within the country that are obstacles to moving ahead.

So, in a way communist China had the advantage of using total and absolute control to push the country ahead. Who says communism is all bad?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

You are right. Any time they can be blessed with a wise leader and the whole ball game will change.

Wally Buffet said...

Hi gentlemen,

india had decades to move ahead with a supposedly democratic system of government. They're still laggard. It's only recently that they are kicking themselves in the butt to try and run the race because they do not want to be left behind and in an effort to win some prestige in the Indian subcontinent. Already they have lost in Sri Lanka. Myanmar and Bangladesh are defintely not their buddies and as for Pakistan, hell, they could be firing missiles at each other in the not too distant future!

Eh Uncle, why do you say that "India will always be number 2 to China" in your post and suddenly change tack to say that it will leapfrog China in your comment.

Are you going to make a left or right turn?

I am very confused leh.


Anonymous said...

Who is number one in developments in technologies and economics is no issue.

How peaceful and happy the citizenry are, really matters.

Is the laid back less developed Bermuda citizens not much more happier than the everything number one singaporeans ?
And Bhutan, the (number one) happiest nation is not even developed in the modern sense.

As China and India progress in the capitalist way, they may and are likely to suffer man-made calamitous social and political events. There is no guarantee that leaderships in both countries will not falter. Chances are; when there are too many powerful men around, infightings will create chaos in any nation.

Chindia said...

I sort of agree with the points mentioned by redbean in this post. My experience with my Indian friends in India let me see another side of them as far as their citizens' view about their neighbour Pakistan is concerned. The fact is, most of them feel that as long as they are better and stronger (millitarily) than Pakistan, they are ok though I cannot say for certain this is the view of the majority.

The richness of the Indian culture and their colourful history is as marvellous if not as wonderful as that of China. One may lament that the speed of progress for the two giants is vastly differentiated.

Though just a folklore, Sun Wukong, the monkey god accompanied the venerable Tang Sanchang westward from olden China to India for the scripture right? lol.

Anyway, lets hope in the near future when India gets nearer to China in all aspect, the world will not have to go through another Cold War similar to what happened between USA and USSR.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...


My point is that India is lagging behind because of a strategic error. They set their target too low. They are looking at China and comparing and competing against China.

They should be looking at the US, compare and compete against the US. Then they can overtake China without even knowing why.

I am applying Sun Tzu's Art of War strategy : )

Anonymous said...

Why is Mr Chua asking two of the oldest civilizations to learn from the World's Most Decadent Country is beyond my understanding.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

oh, America is the country that we all admire and copying everything they are doing. The latest product from America is producing super talented crooks from their top universities to rob the people and enrich themselves.

These folks are spreading themselves and their skills everywhere. We should learn from them and their systems, especially the 'spend now and pay 100 years later' formula. Just look at how they suck away the money from the financial systems to pay themselves billions every year and you will know how smart they are.

We are still learning from them. But China is not going to learn the decadent American ways. China will work, save and then spend a little. But other than this, there are real technologies and scientific advances that are worthy of learning. Learn only the good stuff, not blind apeing.

Bo said...

"Often than not, it is 'the slow and steady wins the race'."

India is slow(er) for sure, but what makes you think it is also steady?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Bo, welcome to the blog. Kaffein remembers his kindergarten story of the hare and the tortoise I supposed. I saw a saying in a MRT station by Confucius. 'What ever you are doing, no matter how slow, don't stop. When you stop, it is over' or something like dat.