China and India – an inevitable comparision
Most of us know a lot about the west because we have either gone there, have family or friends there – or we’ve seen how the westerners live on celluloid. All of us carry with us strong opinions about the west, either positive or negative.
Few of us know anything about China, except what we read in the media. And most of the writing talks of China’s phenomenal growth and the certainity of it becoming the number one economy by 2050. Well, India is supposed to get into the top 3 too. Thats what makes the comparison between China and India inevitable. The whole world is comparing us. Two over-populated, underdeveloped nations with advanced ancient cultures which had sunk into poverty are now rising like phoenixes. China, the western media has informed us, has beaten us to the game. Calling it underdeveloped today is a misnomer. All the more reason why we need to get a grip on what’s happening in China…an understanding of China can give us a way to forge ahead at a faster rate.
I always had an intense curiosity about China. Was China really going to be the world’s number one economy by 2050? What about the doomsday predictions of China’s government controlled economy? Would China’s prosperity and increasing levels of education automatically lead to political unrest and will this impact the economy adversely? Were the Chinese people as hardworking as they are reputed to be? What about their society, the status of women and children, their happiness levels? I had also heard about an underground movement for democracy…was this leading to a generation of unhappy, suppressed youth? Sure, one reads all kinds of things and sees reams of statistics – but nothing like actually getting the feel of it all. My intense curiosity about China has been satisfied now after my visit there…to some extent.
Over the next month or so I am going to write several articles on China on different aspects…on it’s society, it’s economy, the infrastructure, the food habits of it’s people, it’s politics, health, the shopping, the hotels, the Chinese culture, their dress …and ofcourse the tourism potential. And at every stage I am going to compare the country with India.
Articles on China: What tourists experience in China
Four Chinese Cities: Beijing, Xian, Guilin and Shanghai
The people who live in Chinese cities – the urban chinese
Eating out in China
China’s claim to an Indian province is preposterous
Ex-Governer of Hong Kong (Patten) talks about the future of China ten years after it was handed over to the Chinese.