Can the Elephant Dance with the Dragon?

It is fashionable these days, particularly in the West, to speak of India and China in the same breath. In fact, their differences far outweigh their similarities, although both countries clearly share a strong interest in close cooperation.

TRIVANDRUM, INDIA – It is fashionable these days, particularly in the West, to speak of India and China in the same breath. These are the two big countries said to be taking over the world, the new contenders for global eminence after centuries of Western domination, the Oriental answer to generations of Occidental economic success.

Indeed, two new books explicitly twin the two countries: Robyn Meredith’s The Elephant and the Dragon: The Rise of India and China and What It Means for All of Us and Harvard business professor Tarun Khanna’s Billions of Entrepreneurs: How China and India are Reshaping their Futures – and Yours . Both books view the recent rise of India and China as shifting the world’s economic and political tectonic plates. Some even speak of “Chindia,” as if the two were joined at the hip in the international imagination.

Count me among the skeptics. It is not just that China and India have little in common, save for the fact that they occupy a rather vast landmass called “Asia.” It is also that they are already at very different stages of development. China started its liberalization a decade and a half before India, hit double-digit growth when India was still hovering around 5%, and, with compound growth, has put itself in a totally different economic league from India, continuing to grow faster from a larger base. 

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To access our archive, please log in or register now and read two articles from our archive every month for free. For unlimited access to our archive, as well as to the unrivaled analysis of PS On Point, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/U4w2jmw;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.