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Nothing is more sickening than for some of our own intellectuals comparing the economic progress made by China in recent years with that of India just to show how superior the Chinese are And to add insult to injury we have the US Ambassador to India Robert D Blackwill joining the chorus Addressing the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi recently Ambassador Blackwill pooh-poohed the idea that China has made impressive economic gains because it has an authoritative form of government that can easily change policy and redirect resources What troubles me about this line of argument is that it seems to advance the notion that democracies cannot achieve economic reform rapidly leading to much greater prosperity he told the FICCI To a certain extent yes he is right A democracy CAN achieve great economic heights and as Blackwill himself admitted India is capable of high growth rates without compromising its democratic governance and the values of democracy and free markets are mutually reinforcing But that is scratching the surface It is not enough for a nation to practise democracy It is necessary to control population growth encourage work ethic get constant infusions of foreign investment and keep down wages while enforcing long working hours Blackwill told the EICCI that a decade ago India and China had close to the same per capita income while today Chinas per-capita income is about 900 roughly twice that of India Blackwill went on to provide a wide range of statistics showing India in a very poor light Last year he said China attracted 47 billion in direct foreign investment nearly 21 per cent of the worlds foreign investment going to developing countries while Indias FDI was about 4 billion less than 2 per cent of that total As for Chinas exports Blackwill added today it is over 266 billion or about 5 12
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