Let us then hear what acclaimed China experts like Kent G Deng and Minxin Pei have to say about the country. Deng, chair of China Studies at the London School of Economics, said, 'For those who know china well, it is a country of sharp contrasts and enormous internal tension...
The heart of the problem is this: China is not a democratic society. Decisions and development models have been imposed (emphasis ours) on the general public... China is now one of the most polluted countries in the world... China’s Gini coefficient has jumped from 0.28 (as in 1983) to an alarming 0.48 (2000), which has made China one of the least equal societies in the world.
Taking environmental damage and social inequality into account, there is a real danger (emphasis ours) that China’s growth is not (emphasis ours) sustainable'. Harping on the huge debt haunting that country, Pei says, 'Indeed, the huge debt accumulated by the Chinese state on its infrastructure bridge has become a huge financial risk for the country.
So when you marvel at China’s glittering highspeed trains and soaring buildings, you should ask a simple question: is this money well spent?' Pei, in recent times, has also pointed to China’s crisis of morality due to the diminution of public trust in the state. Such is the crisis that 'many Chinese officials proudly affix PhD to their titles even though they never really earned the degree' , a practice that is a running joke in China.
India’s strength is its democracy, however best with aberrations. Its growth story, since the reforms were unleashed in the early 1990s, is a democracy growth story, with more and more people feeling freer economically.
If we were to abridge the gap between the haves and the have-nots and prioritize agriculture, we would definitely be a world champion. We have the potential. Hence perhaps the envy and sinister designs against us in the neighbourhood. But it should not daunt us. Only, we need to tackle the corruption cancer eating into the vitals of our society.