Development Drivers and Limitations
Global Development Network series
Edited by Natalia Dinello and Shaoguang Wang
China and India: Is the Glass Half-Full or Half-Empty? Natalia Dinello and Wang Shaoguang China and India have captured the attention and imagination of economists, business people, political observers and the general public in the early years of the new century. However, the stories about their rise and prospects vary significantly. Three different narratives have acquired prominence in the social science literature. First, some authors have dubbed the twenty-first century the ‘Asian century’, with China and India serving as engines of global development. As indicated by David Kelly and Ramkishen Rajan (2006, 1), ‘With the exception of the crisis period in 1997–1999, Asia has been the world’s fastest growing region for the last three decades’. Hubert Schmitz (2007, 1) claimed, ‘The speed of industrialization in China and other Asian countries is breathtaking. They are not just catching up, they have begun to drive the changes in the rest of the world’. In earlier publications, Jim Rohwer (1995) placed Asia’s spectacular rise in historical and global perspectives,1 while Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (2001) showed how Asia managed to recover from the 1997 crisis to become stronger than ever. The views that single out Asia – and ‘Chindia’ in particular – have solid foundations. The ‘Four Little Dragons’ (also known as the ‘East Asian Tigers’) – Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea – impressed the world with high growth rates and rapid industrialization from the early 1960s through the 1990s. The Giant Dragons – China and India – have demonstrated unprecedentedly high and continuous...