A fact cannot be neglected that whatsoever are the political relations between India and China, both are rival Nations and will continue to be so in the future. Tensions or aggressions on the boundaries from Chinese side are bound to continue as long both countries are following different political systems and aspirations. China is set on the expansionist mode and before India, in all probabilities, Pakistan may be its victim, sooner or later. This aside, both countries are claimants of the title “Economic Super-Power” since the wake of new millennium that pours more fuel in the burning pyre of rivalry. To acquire this title, if India is determined so, the fierce competition is inevitable and it may take place, besides attempts to capture marketplaces , right from the diplomatic tables to the boundary disputes.
However it seems, looking at the present scenario, China has left India far behind in diplomacy and in economic development, that should worry us more.
Accepting the fact that these two Asian Nations are looked at as main contenders for assuming title of “Super Power”, presently China taking the lead, it will be interesting to see how India can beat China in nearest future from different points of view.
Let us take first the positive angle:
Though China looks like a giant before India, able to overtake even USA, is a myth as Chinese economy, unlike India, is heavily indebted.
China aggressively has captured global markets, but in the segment of light engineering goods, mostly unreliable and not-so-durable electronics, T-Shirts, Crockery, umbrella’s etc., whereas India is advanced in heavy engineering on its own, having in-house developed engineering force that is globally applauded. Chinese economy is rather trade-based whereas Indian economy, so far, is based on manufacturing of capital goods and assisted by high-quality IT industry.
India has an excellent intellectual and engineering force sought after by global corporate houses where China lags behind. Though China is on the mission to train its part of the generation with English tongue, it cannot compete with India in this regard.
Chinese population growth will become stagnant in nearest future whereas India, being youngest country, will be able enough to provide adequate workforce to keep economy propelling. As per statistics and views of the experts, male-female ratio in China is so-much-so unequal that Chinese population growth will take reverse turn by next decade and will start declining. This also is bound to create social problems to which no remedy may help.
Banking industry in China is heavily suffering from bad loans, no matter whether in housing or industrial segment, forcing many banks to declare bankruptcy. So internal financial burdens are growing that may lead China towards great financial crisis in nearest future.
Chinese political system and economic system are entirely opposite to each other and keeping balance between both for long term may not be easier for Chinese polity.
Though Tiananmen unrest was cruelly suppressed and privatization was undertaken by Chinese Government following the guidelines of Zhu Rongji. Deng had assured people ‘Getting rich is glorious”!, and had taken the path of privatization, that speedily changed economic scenario of China, still unrest is brewing that can explode anytime in the future. India is a sufficiently and well experienced democratic country where such situation can never occur unless policies go haywire.
Other serious problem with China is the subsidies lent to support cheap rates to the extent of 30 to 100% which can burst Chinese bubble any time in nearest future. On the contrary India is gradually reducing subsidy raj which will benefit India in long run.
This is summing up of the positive views; now let us have a look at the negative points those we must take into the consideration.
Indian economy just recently has crossed two trillion mark whereas Chinese economy is over nine trillion, a huge gap that India may never be able to bridge.
China in every respect of development has left India behind by 8 to 15 years and shall continue to keep same pace in the future to its advantage, thus will make it almost impossible for India to ever cross China in the race.
China is still ahead by ten years in poverty elimination, infrastructure and health facilities if compared to Indian staggering efforts in this direction.
China has been able to provide more jobs to women in domestic product segment (70%) whereas Indian manufacturing is still predominated by male (57%), thus adding to the manufacturing costs, making Indian products less competitive.
Advantage that China has over India is political system in which China can make instant decisions and implementation without any delay, whereas Indian democratic socialist system, peculiar in its nature because of multiparty government, decision making is a lengthy and time-consuming process, not to talk of effective and timely implementation, thus hurting the growth rate.
Only thing that is almost equal in both the countries is heavy corruption!
Taking all pros and cons into the consideration, what are the chances that India can beat China and become a super power as dreamt by every Indian?
To me, to beat up China and surpass her economic growth India needs to do the following:
India has still abundant unutilized resources that need to be explored for value-addition and creating additional wealth, thus productive employment. This only can be done through the liberal policies abandoning the socialist governance system. Then only the intellectual and natural resources can be brought in use efficiently to make India a richer country.
Acquisition of farming lands for the industrial purpose should be avoided or India may inevitably meet with the same fate like China. Instead of centralizing the industrial growth, it has to be distributed (decentralized) proportionately in the country, so that all the regions are equally benefitted. Also, the focus on the growth of agriculture is equally required.
Indian unutilized man-power should be trained and motivated to manufacture variety of marketable light-goods adhering to the strict quality guidelines on massive scale. This is only way to reduce overburdened farming sector that consists of large number of unutilized and under-utilized workforce.
India should strictly adhere to the policy of family planning and should not fall to the evil concept of turning population to the consumer to boost up the economy. China’s geographical size is almost triple over the size of India, thus making it heavily populated country over China. Large population should not be taken as a positive sign and a vehicle of economical growth.
Only sustainable economy can face and stand any kind of economic aggression. India needs to design and implement policies in this direction so that India resources are best utilized with value added marketable and durable goods, giving enough freedom to its entrepreneurs.
India should focus on creating and deploying indigenous capital resources instead of heavily depending solely on FDI’s in the times of the crisis. Over-dependence on foreign capital may lead India to economic debacle if any great recession hits anywhere in the world.
There could be many other ways that can be discussed to beat China on economic front, but we can look up positively at what I have stated. Banning Chinese goods is a very petty way that only will express our protest but will not assist us to leap ahead of China!
- Sanjay Sonawani