How did China become such an advanced country in so little time?

By Sunil Kumar

Reams have been written on how China became an advanced country in a smaller time frame. It is particularly galling for us Indians as our democracy is a functioning anarchy. Also, nefarious designs by the country across the border that wants to encircle us and aid our arch-enemy Pakistan even if it maintains that its real battle is with the United States for superpower status.

According to me, the reasons are to do more with culture and history than anything else. The Chinese have always been used to kowtowing to a strong central authority like brutal and ruthless emperors in old times, and the nearly 70 year old Communist government now. Also, we have to give credit to the wisdom and foresight of their leaders.

Most of the Chinese I have encountered within and outside India are very proud of their nation and cannot hear a single word against it. Compare this to extreme freedom of speech in our country, where it is fashionable to chant ‘division of country’ in universities named after a ‘so-called’ founding father of the country.

I would never want to live in a society like the Chinese, but that does not detract from the fact that their material progress is admirable and needs to be emulated. Even as less as 40 + years back, we had a bigger economy than the Chinese who went around in bicycles.

The country’s remarkable progress also lies in their own hard work, discipline and Western assistance. Nixon’s reset of relations with the Chinese in the 70s and a wise leader like Deng Xiaoping who unlike Mao was a pragmatist seized the opportunity offered by a self-interested but always singularly fascinated by China ‘West’.

The country put wise policies in place that initially copied their products whole-sale, but since have moved up the value chain. Unlike Indians who are content with working for some global(mostly American) MNC, China has encouraged their home-grown firms who are now beginning to dominate the biggest companies in the world listings. Indian unicorns are content in selling their entire stake to foreign entities. They have invested heavily in infrastructure across every sector, seeking parity and now overshadowing the West, the rest of Asia and the world.

Just an illustrative fact, with only 55000 kms of railway network in 1985, China trailed India which had around 62000 kms then. Now, the Chinese have the longest as well as maximum. high-speed railway tracks in the world. They have built some of the biggest engineering projects(dams and bridges) and are trying to build artificial moons and other heavenly entities. We can be proud of ISRO that operates under great limitations, but still Chinese follow and implement projects with single-minded focus and robotic zeal.

In sharp contrast to Japan that declined, the Chinese became the factory of the world. The government has managed to create seamless connectivity with multiple facilities in countries around the world that are now dependent on the Chinese ‘mothership’.

The Chinese also implement faster, land acquisition is easier, work rules tighter, unions who bend to the will of an iron central master. Insurgencies in Tibet are crushed and Muslims in Xinjiang are drafted and rounded up in huge complexes to work for the state. Even Islamic names are not allowed and suitably Sinic names allotted. India can never implement such draconian measures. Pakistan will never criticise its iron friend while it goes ballistic on the ‘rivers of blood’ it has inflicted on India.

Also, China embellished its growth figure for years and has tight control of the media. Even playing with the flag led a popular figure to be sent for re-education. While Indians debate whether ‘Vande Mataram’ is imposed or they do not want to stretch their muscles to honour their own nation, no such meaningless debates in China. Even false and manufactured ‘positivity’ is sometimes more useful in the long run than reams of negativity and servility that the 24×7 Anglicized rabble inflict on the Indian republic.

In conclusion, it all boils down to a few factors that led to the inexorable rise of China.


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