“Chinese are big smugglers… suppliers of small arms. I am sure that the Maoists also get them.”
–G K Pillai, home secretary.
Any reference to China annoys me since 1962. China went a little too far and that was not expected from it when both the countries were in rebuilding mode. By being good to each other, both would have gained. The decision of China to invade India in 1962 was terrible. For all those like me who did face the humiliation, it is difficult to forget its unpredictability and get into ‘support and friendship’ mode. The relation can only be formal one. China is basically envy of India today for many reasons. Any media reports putting India along with China or above it trouble China. Here are some:
India is the home to 422 recognized think tanks. According to a study by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania, India is second only to the US, which is home to over 2,000 such institutions that research and analyze important public issues. China would have been envy of these think tanks in India.
The Legatum Prosperity Index ranks 104 countries (covering 90 per cent of the world’s population), based on a definition of prosperity that combines economic growth together with measures of happiness and quality of life.
Though China outperforms India on several economic indicators, India’s overall ranking, according to the Legatum Prosperity Index, is superior. India performs superior in the critical non-economic factors such as personal freedom which encompasses freedom of speech and religion, national tolerance for immigrants and ethnic and racial minorities. India also ranks highly on measures of social capital, reflected in the percentage of citizens who volunteer, give to charity, help strangers, and who feel they can rely on family and friends. In this area, India ranks fifth in the world, ahead of the United States, the United Kingdom and Finland.
(Blue line is for China and the green for India)
Some more worrying reports are troubling China. According to one report, India currently has the lead over China in terms of foreign OEMs’ wholly-owned R&D activities. India for many years has been – and currently still is – cheaper than China for R&D in terms of wages and operational costs.
Further, according to one recent report, ‘India’s exports of minicars and hatchbacks gained 44% between January and July to 201,138. Total exports of cars, including vans, sport-utility vehicles and trucks, rose 18% to 229,809. In contrast, China’s exports slumped 60% to 164,800 between January and July, according to government data.’
India must and can develop fast, if it focus on its strengths, be it pharma or IT, auto or R&D and try to get into manufacturing in big way both for domestic consumptions and exports as many OEMs are on look out for a second source because of the trouble due to making China the sole vendor. With India’s indigenous capability in areas such as space, atomic energy, and missiles, India can be significant player in high tech manufacturing too. India must go for it.
India with its strength and prosperity can make China go for sustainable good relationship.