Can India Defeat China?

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Can India compete with China in all spheres of development? Will India ever be able to surpass China?

These questions are raised ever so frequently in our developing economies, when we set goals and debate out their achieve-ability. Looking at the mere facts and figures it might seem impossible, but tables might just turn in our favour.


China initially went through tremendous growth, in the 1990s without any major political upheavals. This was facilitated by a communist government. A dictatorship along socialist lines allows for central planning, so that resources are not wasted, nor is coordination disturbed by the individual dreams of more than a million people. Population expansion can be checked in one stroke, and the Herculean task of educating so many people becomes a cakewalk.


Though the literacy level in China is as high as 90%, but the students are trained to remain standardized machines, with no opportunity of creative expression. This creativity nipped in the bud leads to a generation of individuals crippled in terms of new ideas and possibilities. Another problem China faces is the fact that 70% of her educated youth lacks basic language skills and thus finds it much tougher to find good jobs that uses their full potential and skill.


Despite these, China has managed to maintain a rate of trade growth as high as 50%. It enjoys the availability of cheep labour, better technology in the electronic and allied sectors. The Chinese are racially much stronger and doubly hard working as Indians. It is these, along with the fact that China has an open economy that has led foreign trade investments in China twice as much as in India. Today, you find most factories companies setting up their factories and manufacturing units so that their goods are made, as per international specifications, at much cheaper rates, in china. This fact is borne out and illustrated in the ‘made in china’ logos on all out watches, mobile phones, and I-pods.

China has vast offshore oil sources and thus they rely less on the fluctuations in the Middle East to determine their economic pattern.


Despite these clear advantages China seems to have, there are some loopholes where the economy is bound to trip up. The most blatant seems the stagnation of resources. The Chinese resource map shows the resources to be concentrated in one part of the nation, and centralized planning has ignored the principle of sustained development, baring the economy to the backlash of 15 years of singularly efficient reforms. It It has managed to restrict its population growth today. With the loss of rice bowl jobs ( jobs that guarantee job security ), the quality of life an average person enjoys is deteriorating. China is today facing what we might call, the side effects of communism. China has the greatest amount of wealth disparity in the world. It is the third most corrupt nation, and the scenario shall continue to worsen unless there is a movement towards a more liberal polity in the near future, which again shall expose the country to the ill effects of a capitalist economy, drawing no distinction between that of India and herself.


India on the other hand, having a democratic polity and economy, shows less chances of a great political uprising, among her people. This stability is a major of rock in stabilizing the Indian economy. According to Maya Bhandari, three of the most important advantages India has over china are a well developed and mature securities market, a strong an efficient banking system, and a free and uncensored business press. This allows the economy to grow in a far more informed way. There is robust growth and job security. Poverty, unemployment, institutional conservatism, though play an important role in the dynamics of the economy, there is a general acceptance among the populace and governance alike towards changing it. The Indian educated youth, is far better trained than that in China. India has better international relations with the rest of the world, and geographically is very strategically placed, not merely moderating the climate, but also claiming better relations with the globally important world on its either side. It has a large population willing to work and grow.


Therefore when the question comes to mere possibility, we look not only at black and white economics, but at the human factor, which lies at the heart of any social phenomenon. ‘Can’ opens up a future of dreams and fantasy that can be put to fact. Human effort can amalgamate this possibility of reality, and when we think of India outgrowing china, not today, not in a definite period of time, sometime in the future.


And of course, in case we speak of outgrowing in terms of population, we can once again greet the same answer- a bold confident yes!


Jinal Dadiya

Write your opinions below

  1. Siddhartha , on March 26th, 2011 at 11:24 am Said:

    Most of the communities in India (such as Bengali), are succumbed in ‘Culture of Poverty'(a theory introduced by an American anthropologist Oscar Lewis), irrespective of class or economic strata, lives in pavement or apartment. Nobody is at all ashamed of the deep-rooted corruption, decaying general quality of life, worst Politico-administrative system, weak mother language, continuous absorption of common space (mental as well as physical, both). We are becoming fathers & mothers only by self-procreation, mindlessly & blindfold. Simply depriving their(the children) fundamental rights of a decent, caring society, fearless & dignified living. Do not ever look for any other positive alternative behaviour (values) to perform human way of parenthood, i.e. deliberately co-parenting of those children those are born out of ignorance, real poverty. All of us are being driven only by the very animal instinct. If the Bengali people ever be able to bring that genuine freedom (from vicious cycle of ‘poverty’) in their own life/attitude, involve themselves in ‘Production of Space’(Henri Lefebvre), at least initiate a movement by heart, decent & dedicated Politics will definitely come up.
    – Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay, 16/4, Girish Banerjee Lane, Howrah-711101, India.

  2. brijesh , on July 4th, 2010 at 10:58 am Said:

    No point comparing India with China. Factually, Chinese progress is far superior. Will India be manage better than China? Yes, but that will require “huge political motivation and ideological change”. I say Yes, because India is self sufficient, full of resources and more importantly a democracy. It is more comfortable to invest in India than any communist nation, or African nation(politically unstable).
    Well some of the comments like India is slum do hurt. But it isn’t entirely incorrect.We were always lead by corrupt people.Look at the change in India. There was no mall in 1990. Now there are 1000’s of them. Better houses, better car, better salaries, but still “those potty roads, that dirty water, those power cuts”. Every thing changed but govt’s incapability or impotency. “We are looking in to it, we will take action”. When?
    The politics of our country frustrates everyone. The right change should be when “National parties decide not to give tickets to wrong,incapable, criminal people”.They should rather focus on talent search.

  3. 1) Massive corruption – No Comment this is obvious
    2) Lack of any innovation (india produce drones, cannot innovate. Ask any foreign software developer)
    3) Backward attitudes (Indians see exit to a foreign land as the ultimate goal, to hell with India after except with the “I love India” comments when they are living in Australia, USA, Canada and anywhere other than India.)
    4) Massive poverty ( your population will pull you down fast especially in a World with diminishing resources, you already eat all the food you produce and have to import to suatain populace)

    Those are the huge holes in India’s path to being a decent country, you can forget competing with China it wont happen the Chinese are smarter, don’t believe me see the one child per a family policy among others ! There is a simple test for India, show me one product that is entirely Indian made that has world reknown, especially in quality ? There is none. India is NOT a super power and it never will be, it is a country with a huge runaway population issue. The least you could do is try handing out condoms rather than trying the fruitless task of competing with China. It would also help if India tried to use it’s cash wisely rather than trying it’s stupid money wasting schemes (linke sending probes to the Moon) that try to impress an audience that really doesnt care who India is or what it does. Feed your people and remove institutional racism (caste) and try to act like a decent normal country and feed your starving people.

  4. This article is one sided so i do not support this article. Again india defeat china is like bollywood movie name. china have very good resources that is human or people of china. They are very hard working people like robots. But indians are good at talking and shouting for no things. so in my view and research i find if that india have to do massive change in political, cultural, society , infracture etc before it compare with china(only comparision). Then may be india can achive what they dream in this article otherwise u are just barking like dog.

  5. To those in India who think labour is cheaper in China, wake up and smell the roses. If you do some simple research, you will find that labour costs in China are actually higher than India. I should know, I do contract manufacturing in China. And if you don’t believe me, go and ask the name brand Indian companies manufacturing in China now, Kajaria, Nitco, Khaitan and umpteen others. The fact is, not only are our labour costs higher, but the horrendous lack of infrastructure, combined with other factors like hartals and likewise democratic traditions of ours to impede work and productivity are the reasons any product made in India is so much more expensive than China. There is no efficiency. And finally, even those MNCs manufacturing in India, they have learned that our lack of any quality standards or expectations mean that they too can produce poor quality products here for domestic consumption and get away with it. If you don’t believe that statement, buy a bar of Cadbury’s made in India and if possible buy another few bars of Cadbury’s made in Malaysia, UK, Australia, Egypt, etc and do a taste comparison. Then you will see or rather taste how even MNCs tend to treat India as their playground to peddle the worst quality and make a fortune while at it.

  6. Did any of the Indians in the posts above read the news lately. In the last few days, during the celebration over the new IPL franchises and the amount spent for the Pune and Kochi, news pundits brought up the topic of the IPL vs Indian Poverty League. I digress somewhat. The point is, more than 800 million of our people live on less than Rs. 20 a day. We have the highest concentration of poverty in the world. In case some of the less informed in these posts need elaboration, that translates to the following: INDIA HAS 50% OF THE WORLD’S POOR. Get that fact through before talking about the few Indians working at NASA or all these other silly factoids that Indians have to use to drum up some self-pride. The fact is, that we can compare ourselves to China all we want. We can say there are differences between our system and make rationalizations (as we are prone to) for our slow progress. At the end of the day, I don’t know which system is right. However, I do think Indians should stop stating the following:

    a) That Indians are smart and that the Chinese are just labourers and have no creativity or inspiration. To Indians who keep repeating that ad nauseaum, I suggest you heed the words of Thomas Edison, arguably one of the most inspired and creative inventors of all time. He said, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”. On that basis, Indians are 99% inspiration and 1% perspiration. Not a recipe for success.

    b) That India is a democracy and has to drive things through consensus, etc., etc. stuff like that to rationalize our slow progresss. To Indians who are fond of making that statement, I suggest you heed the words of Abraham Lincoln. He said, “Things may come to those who wait, but only those things left by those who hustle”. In this story of comparison between our two nations, it would behoove Indians to stop believing in the old fable about the Tortoise and the Hare and that homily of “slow and steady wins the race”

    As a final comment, let me assure all Indians of one fact. Given our state of corruption, our inability to produce one product of international level quality, our inability to reign in communalism, and all the other silly things that plague our sad country, India will never become a super power, it will never surpass China, and it will never get the respect it could it could on the world stage if our people were just a little more mindful of reality (instead of living in a dream world) and strove to work just a wee bit harder. In fact, India today is such a failed state, that only the equivalent of God’s wrath when HE destroyed Sodom and Gomorrohea can possibly bring forth any changes in India in the next millennium. Until something like that happens, we Indians will continue to make excuses, spout jingoistic slogans about keeping up Indian pride and all sorts of other noises that will amount to little more than foul smelling farts.

  7. India Vs. China.Great article.I don’t think India will Surpass China in near future.As predicted by Interrnational committee,China will overtake US economy by 2032 and India MAY do this job by 2050.That means India is almost 2 decade behind China in economy.Also India has corruption,poverty,dirty politicies and high illiteracy.But at the end of this century,India will surely will very close to China and at the beginning of 22nd century,it will cross China as the problems facing India today will solve.

  8. baba's 2 baap , on March 14th, 2010 at 5:56 am Said:

    Respect your country and try to improve it.
    instead of making such an useless comment one should try to give mental support. one day we will definitely beat china.

  9. Very nice article.
    as far as both INDIA and china are concerned both are versatile and quite complementary economies.we are growing through our service sector,our consumers while china is suceeding due to thier exports,government and manufacturing.
    The answer to the question that whether INDIA CAN OVERTAKE china is only YES YES YES….
    How come?
    We have very good relations as far as U.S,EU,JAPAN and many other who are actually the biggest consumers of the cheap chinese goods.
    Taking this advantage we can actually frame a policy that will enable factories to be built in those part of india where thier is no visible employment like it can be bihar,some parts of UP,Rajasthan,orissa or MP or drought affected areas like gadchiroli or the north east states.
    The government should take the advantage of this strategic position in the world and make business viable in these areas so that industrialists are tempted to build factories.Let it be no tax zones but with conditions that you cannot shift any of the existing operations across india or any other such policies.So not only the people will get jobs which is of upmost importance to any person but also will give a chance to these regions for development and automatically a loop can be started wherein more jobs and hence more growth will be generated.I strongly believe that every person has equal right for basic living-food,clothes,shelter and education.So this will give people a chance to achieve these things while our contry will get a chance for economic growth.

  10. I think u can’t read Chinese language Johnny and can speak only English, they say bad words in their language but not in English that’s why u did not hear it… so u better stop criticizing us with your racial words. If we are smelly slums why is your country always trying to do business here.

  11. MIKE I think u forgot 30% of NASA scientists are INDIANS, many US Governers, politicians are Indians. By year 2020 an American-Indian may be the US President. We may fret for next meal but not selfish as URS… If we keep our “democracy” and “Peace” aside we will the powerful country in the world. But we belive on democracy…

  12. Mike, I’m very close to agreeing with you. Except for the last comment, because that is racially suggestive and not a good idea on an Indian web site; and the first comment because that is not a fair comparison.

    I live in India and I feel that us Indians cannot take it when someone compares us to Africa or a “third world nation”. That comparison is not made without reason. Just because the well-to-do live in their own version of India according to their own imaginings and forget about the “real” India (80% of it), it doesn’t make the it any less real.

    Whatever you say to me, I am proud of my country and if the rest of the people on this thread aren’t ready to stand up for the poverty and illiteracy in this country, then I will.

  13. if u are ready to work for lower salaries and longer working hours than china then we can produce cheaper goods.India’s trade deficit with china is $40billion.China will beat america’s gdp in just 10 years.even though it has world’s largest iron ore reserve yet it consumes 50% of world production of steel and cement.It has 800billion invested in US treasury bonds.exports surpassed germany .Now at over one trillion$.Its investing big in solar energy,nano technology and robotic automation.Its aggressively persuing every possible mines and oil reserve in the world.Petro china is the most valued company in the world.Has 50 billion barrel oil reserves in its hand.

  14. domination starts , on November 13th, 2009 at 12:06 pm Said:


    I read comment by johnny that chinese dont criticize about india. Its true my dear friend. But please learn about china before you write something here. Most of chineese cant read or write in english and thats the reason there is no much comment from a chineese. If you write in their language you can see the real face of chineese.

    East or west india is the best! India surely will rule the world. Lets see our vision in this way. It will happen in near future.. Trust me and my words!! what we trust is what will happen

  15. Saleemshaik , on August 27th, 2009 at 6:38 pm Said:

    To A$$H0ls Johnny and Mike. i think u r americans. let me tell you onething. u people are like frogs in a pond who dont know anything apart from US, u lick the asses of chinese to get the cheap import from that country. I can show you Homeless people in the heart of Los Angeles downtown. american beggars begging money from Indian expats, if you have any doubt visit Metro station beside Metro 417, Los Angeles. u r country has lot of homeless people and they are even worst than those from other countries because they even rob people. we got independence just 60 years ago, but you got independence almost 200 years yet we are giving a tough fight 2 you. that itself shows our calibarity. wait and watch the young Indians Charisma on the world.

  16. Saleemshaik , on August 27th, 2009 at 6:27 pm Said:

    Mera Bharat Mahan. Jung Jeethi ja sakti hain majboot iradon sey, naki teer,talwar ya hathyaron sey. Young India has freedom of thought and an thought can change the world. Young Indian Talents (Thanks to IIM’s and IIT’s) are much more capable than chindi chor chinese (saley pakkey copy masters hain). we never provoke anyone for war (its for every neighbour). if you do so, chinese have to forget that they once had a hold on Tibet. and pakistan will never ever think about Kashmir. KHABARDARRRRRRR. Jai Hind.

  17. i love you m ahmed , on August 22nd, 2009 at 4:26 pm Said:

    very good ahmed its a great reply for me i love you man i am a hindu and i really need some good responses for muslims also about india ,yes i know what my country is and what india can do
    all americans should remember one thing that they just do one thing and that is “””destroy””” but what we {indians} can do is “””create””” we know how to love, fight, invent whithout any facility because we know facilites make man worst poor so you enjoy that mike and remember amhed comment f%%%%u__c_k by yourself lol !!! and at last if you think we indians are good for nothing than why yours all international company come here in search of market place to sale their product rembember one thing all of ooposers of india
    today india has worlds largest young population SO BE AWARE FROM US

  18. Mr Mike, India was also once like any poor African country, but see the talent within Indians has begin to prove them self in the international arena. I believe you have seen only one face of India, you will be F%C%ed by yourself if you see the other face. We have started making presence in manufacturing area too, wait and see it’s result are not far from you.1962 is past, we have learnt a lot from that and started to reverse that too. Even you consider that we don’t have food but see we are made up of so big heart that we feel luck to feed our unlucky neighbor(Tibet and will continue to feed till……do Chinese got that passion? See and wait till next decade, we will leave you behind in every field.

  19. If India can compete with china then I guess any African country can. I have seen descriptions from India and have noticed that they look; live and think just like other poor developing nations. So, what is it that distinguishes India from rest of the herd? If it is just the colossal number of people bundled together in a comparatively small space then I infer most Indians are breathing on a silly cloud nine. They should fret more about the next meal rather than to vex competing with the mighty U.S or even China, I harangue.

  20. it’s natural for indians to love india, but why do indians have to run down other people to elevate themselves? i don’t hear the chinese saying bad things about india. however, indians often criticize the china. you should mind your own smelly slums and terrorists before criticizing others. you indians lack humility and any sense of shame.

  21. puruscope , on October 5th, 2008 at 10:24 am Said:

    Can India compete with China in all spheres of development?
    Yes, definitely yes. Why only with China, India can compete with Japan, USA or name any country in the world. Only if Indians think themselves of being Indian first and put aside the regional, linguistic, religious sentiments etc. The hope lies with the youth, they should shun the divisive politics and nurture this great democracy.

  22. Dr ashok dadiya , on August 19th, 2008 at 9:50 am Said:

    exellent and informative article