India And China Rising World Powers History Essay
1. India & China are both steadily rising as the growing military & economic powerhouses & it can be safely assumed that the phenomenal growth achieved by these countries in last few decades is a result of the synergized application of the various elements of national power, consisting of diplomatic, informational, military and economic prowess, in an orchestrated manner. In order to understand the dynamics of India-China relations in the emerging world order, we should firstly need to review the various accomplishments of these countries in the world arena in last few decades.
2. China became the permanent member of United Nations Security Council in 1950s. Since then, at the political level she can boast of a major influence in the world affairs. China is probably the only country in the world which has successfully thrived as a communist nation governed by a single party rule. In a way, it has proved as a blessing in disguise because the views and opinions propagated by the Chinese government never smacks of a contradiction. Her political influence in South East Asian countries is steadily growing along with the growing influence in entire Asia and African Nations. She is playing a key role in North Korean negotiation process and is looking beyond the South China Sea as a rising world power.
3. India, on the other hand is gradually increasing her political clout at the regional level due to her enthusiastic participation in regional forums like SAARC. India’s foreign policy is pragmatic and is aimed towards building a strong relationship with USA and other major nations of the world including Russia, Japan, UK, France and Germany. Indian PM Mr. Manmohan Singh is widely regarded as one of the most influential political leaders of 21st century. His sharp intellect has greatly contributed towards enhancing India’s image as a strong democracy where equality of people and freedom of speech is regarded as the hallmark of Indian Nationhood. After independence in 1947, India rose as the leader of third world countries and became a pioneer in evolving a block of Non-Aligned Nations in the cold war era. However, after the debacle of 1962 Sino- Indian war, she took almost a decade to regain her status as a growing diplomatic power during Mrs. Indira Gandhi’s regime. After 1990, India has taken rapid strides towards building her political influence in the world forum and has carved a niche for herself at all the major international institutions such as UNO, G-20 and BRIC Summit.
4. In China, three decades of economic reforms and ‘opening up’ since the post Mao era has brought about unprecedented socio-political transformation. [i] The opening of China to the rest of the world in 1970s was probably the most significant global event in the final quarter of 20th century. China has emerged as a significant link in the manufacturing chain of the world and at present is the second largest economy of the world with an annual growth rate of 9.75% per annum . China’s rapid growth rate indicates that by 2050 she will edge past USA to become the largest economy in the world. China’s economic boom can also be attributed to the sincere efforts of its people who are committed to nation building and one party rule which has got its objectives laid down without any protest from any corner of the country analogous to the first principle of war ‘Selection and Maintenance of Aim’. [ii]
5. China's economy grew 8.7 percent in 2009 thanks to a record surge in bank lending of 9.6 trillion yuan ($1.4 trillion) orchestrated by the government to support its 4 trillion yuan ($585 billion) stimulus package, which is being spent mainly on infrastructure. China held $900 billion in U.S. Treasuries at the end of April 2010, according to U.S. Treasury Department international capital data released on June 15, 2010. Bankers say China's total holdings of dollar-denominated assets are much greater, accounting for perhaps two-thirds of its official currency reserves. These came to $2.45 trillion at the end of March, 2010. [iii] Continued economic development has been central to China’s emergence as a regional and global power.The market-oriented reforms China has implemented over the past 2 decades have unleashed individual initiative and entrepreneurship. The result has been the largest reduction of poverty and one of the fastest increases in income levels ever seen. [iv]
5. India opened her gates to the world in 1990s and was therefore a late starter. However, in last few years India has made rapid progress with a growth rate of nine percent per annum. India took the first step towards economic progress when Mr. Manmohan Singh, as Finance Minister in 1991 introduces the concept of economic liberalization or globalization to the Indian Economy. Today we are renowned in the world for our great potential in knowledge-based services. We have one of the largest foreign exchange reserves along with the honour of one of the preferred destinations for FDI. Indian companies, like Tata, Reliance to name a few, are heavily investing in foreign markets and are reaping rich dividends for the country. India was moderately affected due to the global recession in 2007-2008 due to the sound regulatory measures adopted by Indian financial institutions such as RBI which proved beyond doubt that Indian economy is based on the solid foundation which cannot be shaken by such disasters.
7. India's economy is expected to grow at least 8 percent this year, boosted by consumer and government spending, but it faces inflation, driven by high food prices, that exceeded 10 percent in May 2010. [v]
8. A comparative table of economic growth of India, China & USA is as shown:-
6. China has the largest Army in the world and in recent years the phenomenal military growth made by Chinese PLA has catapulted her forces to be a potent threat to the USA’s most powerful nation status. She is looking beyond the horizons of South China Sea and her regions of military influence extend deep into Pacific Ocean. China’s Navy is making forays into the Gulf of Aden in Indian Ocean at the pretext of securing her SLsOC thus challenging USA and Indian authorities. Defence budget of China in 2010 was a whopping 78 billion US dollars and 28 percent of this budget is allotted for Research and Development which clearly indicates that Chinese military forces are going on towards a military modernization with nuclear possessed armoury, latest aircrafts, submarines and a network centric force with an eye towards USA.
7. India on the other hand is also carrying on a rapid military modernization. Presently India has got the second largest Army in the world. India’s region of interest in Indian Ocean Region extends from Gulf of Mannar in the west to Malacca straits in the east. India is a de facto nuclear state and is progressing towards developing a credible nuclear triad. Indian military forces are generally Pakistan Centric. However, the rapid military prowess developed by China has forced India to redefine her strategy and is now looking beyond Pakistan in order to develop her Military power to counter any threat from elsewhere. India is trying to develop a long lasting military cooperation with USA and Israel in order to equip herself with latest state of art weapon systems. Also, she is maintaining a good military collaboration with traditional partner Russia. India is also investing heavily in indigenous Research and Development to augment our military arsenal in terms of latest aircrafts, submarines and weapon systems.India is in a process of developing a network centric force in consonance with the changed battlefield scenario. However, in comparison with China she has a long way to go to effectively counter the military threat in our immediate neighbourhood.
8. Human Resource. It was a widely accepted truth in 20th century that countries like India and China can never go up the ladders of success due to various reasons such as illiteracy, poverty, unemployment, religious intolerance, internal turmoil and above all population. The population was at the root of all evils. However, due to the miraculous rise of China followed by India, the same bane of population is now considered as the biggest boon of these countries. These countries are providing the largest workforce of Engineers, Doctors, Scientists and cheap labour to the whole world.
9. Soft Power. India and Chinese Diaspora, IT boom, tourism and availability of skilled labour in manufacturing and services sector are the assets which are the substantiation of rise of these two great nations.
10. In a nutshell, the present international situation presents India and China with a lot of challenges and also opportunities. If the challenges are met and the opportunities fully utilised, the two countries together can soon become a very significant and stabilising influence in world affairs. 
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