China VS India

India and China are now surpassing other long-standing powers like the United States with their booming economies and intricate cultures, while European and Western countries are now sinking into abyss with their debts. The two countries house many citizens, have economic and cultural similarities, and might spearhead global growth in the future. However, at this point, the two countries seem more of rivals then partners.

Rivals or Allies?

In the past, both races despised each other, with ugly perceptions of each other. However, in the modern world, since education has been largely emphasized in these developing countries, they have learnt to better embrace other races and tolerate each other. As a result, there have been changes to the way both races see each other. This makes me remember my history lessons – in the past, as a result of the misunderstandings between the races in Singapore, numerous riots broke out throughout the country, causing much unrest. The situation turned tables when Singapore developed into a harmonious, multi-racial country – now, neighbours of all races make good friends, helping each other in times of need. Soon, I believe that the racial barriers between the two countries will be broken down.

Even if the racial differences did not exist, the two countries still would not be friends. As a result of the two countries trying to develop their economies, China established a “string of pearls” in the Indian Ocean, while India is trying to do oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea, angering New Delhi and Beijing respectively. There might actually be a hint from this that the two countries are vaguely trying to provoke each other – both want to be the greatest power in the world, and are competing for the title. As a result of this mindset, the two hardly invest in each other, with Chinese investment in India being 0.05% of its total investment worldwide. This even extends all the way into the air travel industry – astonishingly, although the two countries are so huge, they hardly even have many direct flights connecting them.

Getting themselves in order

Before the ambition sets upon them to save the world’s economy, the countries have their own worrying problems that they have to solve first. China’s bubble is deflating, and exports are sliding, and inflation is devastating in both countries. The most obvious problem is probably the income gap – with the rich being ridiculously so, and the poor hardly even surviving. China is leading when it comes to bringing its citizens out of poverty, but the task of solving the problem is still daunting. While reading the article in the Times magazine, I spotted an interesting line – “While China doesn’t follow the rules, India has too many rules to follow.” Upon some thinking, I found this statement to be quite true. I just returned from Beijing, and realized that many laws in Singapore are not found much in China. The two most obvious ones I found were namely the ban on spitting, and the restrictions on smoking areas. Corruption is rife, and this has dented India’s reputation as well.

Perception vs. Reality

Western countries impressions of the two countries are through romantic and ideological prisms. Thus, India is gentle, with articulate and urban leaders, like those in New York. On the other hand, China is a scary country, represented by a fierce and fiery dragon which is threatening. This is because of Beijing’s profile and swagger. Beijing uses its power more often than India – they oppose anything and everything they dislike, from US actions to cracking down on political dissent and cyberspace activity. On the other hand, New Delhi was more accepting and tolerating of anticorruption protests. However, I feel that the main reason for this would be the differences in the political systems between the Western countries and Beijing. The Western countries ultimately believe that the best form of political ruling is democracy, while Beijing is an autocracy, so there may be some disgust at China’s method of ruling. However, not all democracies are countries with stable governments. There are many instances of human right abuse in India too, and though one man has one vote, it does not mean that he has equal voice. In the end, it is still the rich and the powerful that make all the difference.

Although China and India seem promisingly powerful, and the world will depend on their strength to pull through one day, they will have to be able to solve most of their current problems. With the corruption, will aid really reach other countries? With the poverty and violence, will the country be able to control itself? These questions need, and will be answered soon, and I believe that both countries really have to cooperate sooner or later.

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Hi guys, I'm a student in Singapore, and this are some thoughts and essays I have written over the years.