China, unlike India, has managed to contain unrest caused by such groups as the Falun Gong [cult] and the Tibetan and Islamic separatists over the objections of Western human rights activists that cannot stand how China manages these challenges.
Due to what many in the West call brutal measures, harmony and economic progress continue as planned for the vast majority of Chinese.
In addition, in rural China, “Living standards soared in the early 1980s—average incomes doubled in both the cities and the countryside, while there was a boom in both food consumption and the availability of consumer goods.” Source: Socialist Review Index.org.uk
“Growth in (China’s) peasant income, which had reached a rate of 15.2% a year from 1978 to 1984, dropped to 2.8% a year from 1986 to 1991. Some recovery occurred in the early 1990s, but stagnation of rural incomes marked the latter part of the decade.” Source: Asia Times
In fact, the last five-year plan is extending electricity to rural China and subsidizes the cost of appliances for rural villages once the electricity is turned on.
For an example of China’s continued progress, Tom Carter, one source for this post, is currently living in a small rural village in the tea-producing region of China near Hangzhou and has internet access from a village of twenty people.
I agree that India has the potential to equal or match China, but I doubt that will happen in the next few decades due to the economic long-term problems that India must overcome.
I don’t know where Manjeet Pavarti lives, but I suspect it isn’t outside of the gleaming glass and steel cites such as New Delhi, Mumbai or Bangalore.
People living inside these economic growth bubbles may have no idea how serious it is outside and probably don’t care or India would be dealing with these challenges as China has been doing since 1949.
India became a democracy in 1947, which means it has had more than sixty years to solve these problems, while China has had less than thirty since 1982 when the republic wrote its new constitution, took a seat at the United Nations in 1971 [replacing Taiwan] and joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
It is ironic how the West seldom hears about India’s problems but always hears about every bit of negative news that happens in China, which is often distorted.
Return to The China-India Comparison with Lots of Facts – Part 4 or start with Part 1
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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Note: This revised and edited post first appeared on October 22, 2010 as India Falling Short