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The Forum > Article Comments > A way India can outshine China > Comments

A way India can outshine China : Comments

By John Lee, published 19/7/2010

While India does not command the same respect and praise as China, its economy has been growing at China-like rates since 1992.

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Well, I don't know about India's politics being "transparent". The word "Byzantine" comes to mind.

But India is a democracy - an imperfect democracy as are all democratic nations - but nonetheless a democracy. There is no need to fear India.

In the longer term China will reach a point where either the Chinese Communist Party is prepared to relinquish some power or the country will implode.

Relatively democratic India will just keep muddling through.

There is another aspect. China is intent on building up its military. But to do this it has largely to develop its own weaponry. This is an expensive business.

India can simply buy Western - mostly US - weaponry. In many ways the US is still the "arsenal of the democracies". That means India can match Chinese military power at considerably lower cost leaving more resources available for civilian development.
Posted by stevenlmeyer, Monday, 19 July 2010 9:08:25 AM
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You are certainly right about India. I am sure things have changed since i used to go there quite a few years ago but i would not see India as not a threat. they have some serious issues based around corruption and racial/religious divide.
The Indian nuclear program while not secretive, has never had a very good safety record though the authorities have always denied it. The growing tension between the Hindu's and muslims is causing ongoing social unrest while the Pakistan border has always been a bone of contention.
India could become very unstable politically very fast and as has already been seen, terrorists will act in India to press home their point. Remember that before the British came india was a series of smaller kingdoms.
I still don't see the impending cloud of doom that China represents. History dose not indicate that they will go for world domination and their regional goals are in keeping with the natural aspirations of an emerging economic power. Certainly it is very hard to know what they are up to but they have made great strides since 1989. If they maintain the course as is, the only real outcome will be the decentralisation of power otherwise the reforms will run out of steam, as for that ultimately leading to democracy i cannot say but unlike most i don't see that it has too. The fast reform and democratisation of the USSR has not been a success with many countries only now beginning to emerge with hope. I would suggest transparency and human rights as China's two big issues but both will lead to the undermining of the party line.
Posted by nairbe, Monday, 19 July 2010 4:05:44 PM
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Good article overall.

There may be, however, some underestimation of the massive Delhi Games security preparations going on to avoid Pakistani terrorist or homegrown bombings in Delhi during those Games or elsewhere in India at that time. The extra cost of security is probably higher than $1 billion.


On weapons from the US - India has no intention of only buying Western and is proudly maintaining its non-aligned (albeit democratic) status in many ways.

India is buying or bought roughly half of its new weapons from Russia including:

- its largest carrier (the old Gorshkov) and 2 new Akula SSNs on long lease (basically bought and to be part crewed by Russians for some years). The indigenous nuclear submarine (Arihant) probably owes much to Russian assistance ( )

- its top fighter (Su-30s) and future PAK FA (5th generation fighter - a joint Indo-Russian project) and many other types (see )

- the Indian Army relies on a Russian tank (the T-90) rather than the widely advertised indigenous tank.

So India rarely advertises its very strong Russian links including joint ventures (like the BrahMos missile). For we westerners India is in the Western camp. Russians get the non-aligned or "Russian friendly" version.


Posted by plantagenet, Monday, 19 July 2010 5:30:07 PM
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