As we study the many strands of the China story, it is inevitable references to India's events and experiences will keep coming up. These are juxtaposed only to present the contrast. Preferring one road to prosperity over another is a personal choice every Indian has the privilege to make. He *must* make that choice though, for, without convictions, no action is effective. GoodnewsIndia too will state its choice, after listing how India and China differ.
The Contrasts Catalogue:
Period and poverty:To begin with, China has been at true-blue capitalism, for a longer time—25 years—than India's 13. During the 13 years of India's unsteady experiments with the liberalisation process, poverty has fallen from 46% to 23%. For the last 25 years, which is an identical period of comparison, the fall has been from 55% to 23%[Reference]. These figures show that the rate of fall of poverty in India was faster paced in its open-door period, than in China.
Now, most incredibly, Guardian says, China defines its poverty line at $76 per year, whereas India conforms to the World Bank norm of $365/year. Think that over deeply and then, evaluate India's performance. Also, for a country with an average income of $1000 a year, China's definition of its poverty line is astounding. Only less so, than world's applause for its performance.
Health of the economy: Nor is poverty definition, a rare case of China's non-conformity with accepted units of measure.Dr Subramaniam Swamy says, "... China's compliance with the UN Statistical System is partial whereas India's is total". Truth is, China's is an 'open' economy in a 'closed' society where 'facts' are opaque and answerability is non-existent.
It is widely suspected, that a large part of it's huge FDI is in fact, ill-gotten local money [—'black money', you'd call it here] round-tripping back as investment. What's worse, China uses that capital way more inefficiently than India does, say economists Sachs and Porter.
In contrast to India, where economists, the business press, investors, regulators and the stock-exchanges routinely dig out wrong-doing, discuss and force corrections on its financial system, in China, all is still. There are barely defined norms for grant and collection of loans. Rambunctious entrepreneurs—who'd amaze even Indians, rendered cynical by their merchant class—have scattered huge bad debts on the way to building the China-showcase. Gordon Chang in 2001, laid out a 5 year time-line by which, China should now be convulsing in the open as an economy is distress. Many thought his was, too dire a prediction. The Chang prophesy hasn't arrived as yet. But who knows? The rate of growth of China's economy is slowing down and its competitiveness is fraying.