The Economist wruites in the introduction that “India can learn much from China’s breakneck economic expansion. But it has valuable lessons for China, too.”
Home to nearly two-fifths of humanity, two neighbouring countries, India and China, are two of the world’s fastest-growing economies. The world is taking notice. In December, a report by America’s National Intelligence Council likened their emergence in the early 21st century to the rise of Germany in the 19th and America in the 20th, with impacts potentially as dramatic.
Comparisons between the two are inevitable. Both are poor, largely agricultural, countries that have made great strides in reducing poverty, especially since embarking on radical, liberalising economic reform. But India and China, always very different civilisations, have followed very different paths to growth. Under reform, they have converged somewhat in the past two decades, but will remain distinctive.
This survey will argue that there are lessons India can draw from China’s experience, but that the Chinese model need not mean anything resembling its political authoritarianism. In that respect, India has much to teach China.