India and China: Whose pain or gain is it anyway?

Someone must have misguided Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to tell a business gathering in New Delhi recently that China’s pain is India’s gain.

The remark was in bad taste, to say the least. Moreover, Modi failed to realize that China’s pain was natural for any economy going through some challenging transformation.

dragonLike Modi, President Xi Jinping was addressing a business gathering in Seattle in the US Wednesday telling investors how open China is to foreign business amid economic reforms. But there was no mention of pain or gain in his talk.

The state-run Chinese daily Global Times thought this the best occasion to hit back at Modi with an article which said China’s economic pain cannot be India’s gain as both economies are not at the same level of development. It was a clear snub.

Then came the advice: Since both economies are not at the same level of development, they can achieve a mutually beneficial industrial conjunction, a win-win situation and not a win-lose one.

While China’s economic fluctuation is worrying the international community, India sees it as an opportunity to acquire a competitive advantage over China.

The article chides optimists in India who think that China’s stock market slump may steer foreign investments out of China into India, and that India can benefit from China’s rising labor costs, based on which international companies will be inclined to shift their production lines from China to India.

No wonder such excessive optimism to take advantage someone else’s troubles has raised a public debate in the Indian society and academia, the article says.

Modi will be in Silicon Valley this weekend and many tech titans will be courting him.

He will be addressing 17,000 Indian expatriates at San Jose’s Shark Tank sports arena Sunday. But AU doubts whether he will be able to rock them the way he did the crowd at a Madison Square Garden rally in New York City in 2014.

Indians had great expectations when Modi was ushered in as prime minister. But those hopes seem to have faded.



Categories: Asia Unhedged, China, South Asia

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