Who was more advanced technologically around 1 AD: China, Roman Empire or India?
Of the 3 only Rome existed, so I’ll have to go for Rome, before you consider what Roman technology there was, or the relative state of Roman metallurgy - Wikipedia.
If you want a comparison between Rome and the Han dynasty, which occupied much of today’s China, then I’d still go with Rome, as though their nominal GDP’s have been estimated as nearly identical, the Han dynasty had 60 to Rome’s 44 million bodies, indicating Rome was applying its technology more effectively, to maximise what it could extract out of its Citizens / Subjects, as the estimated relative iron production figures appear to support. Though the likes of the Chinese Counting rods numeral system was obviously superior to the Roman and Greek Numerals, in common use at the time, as was the weaving of silk vs linen, while the Romans clearly excelled in hydraulic engineering, ship building, and glass production, but in many areas they were comparable. Trade between the regions compensated for some of the inequalities, see: Roman commerce.
India just didn’t exist in the period, with dozens of minor empires and kingdoms all claiming bits of South Asia: Kushan Empire, Suren Kingdom, Chera dynasty, Ay, Chola dynasty, Mushika Kingdom, Satavahana dynasty, Dasarna Kingdom, Kongu Nadu , Kalinga, Suhma Kingdom, Vanga Kingdom , Davaka, Indo-Greek Kingdom, … with no single writing system, no lingua franca, no central administration, no maintained road networks, no civil service, no Pax Romana / Han enforcing rule of law in the region, no public fountains, almost no written history, almost no stone construction, … For a comparison with a South Asian empire, that controlled most of the territory of the current Republic, you'd have to push the timeframe forward, for the South Asian entry, to the mid 14th century, and the Delhi Sultanate of the Tughlaq dynasty. Which despite resolving the lack of a central administration, fairly uniform taxation, stone construction, and a professional military, with a few forts, they didn’t really contribute much to mankind.
译文来源：三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/46236.html 译者：Jessica.Wu
Hammad Shakil, works at NED University of Engineering and Technology
Andrew Roberts’s views are typical eurocentric biased views which his colonial ancestors have propagated since they ruled and left india.
if you pick up faxien’s account of gupta empire alone which depicts a welfare, peaceful, liberal government, it would dispel any notions of bad indian administration compared to cruel, barbaric, rules of the romans, indian kings never throw innocent people infront of wild animals to serve an entertainment purpose for the general public. the very first concept of a civic hospital was born from indian civilization and faxien rightly points out many charitable hospital which functioned during gupta period through the donations of wealthy people, killing animals was banned and the society was vegetarian, the tax were very lenient and the capital punishment was not carried out. the first time criminals were forgiven and only punished if they repeated the offence. there was no concept of imprisonment. despite such liberalism, there was peace and a crime free society
now compare this rule to chinese or the romans, who enforced their rules with absolute barbarity.
when it comes to civilization advancement, let me just state a very naked fact that in abbasid count in the 9th century, there were only two schools of thought which existed there, 1) hellenistic 2) indian. indian and hellenistic medicine, astronomy, maths, science etc rule the roost, indians were called from india to translate sanskrit texts into arabic or persian, indian astronomers were called to construct observatories in persia and the islamic world, indian medical doctors competed with greek or hellenistist doctors in the court, this is not told by indians, no indian documents speak about such indian achievemenets but the arab/ persian and islamic scholars themselves. there were no chinese medicine, roman science which were given importance in the islamic world.
lastly about architecture, you can still see the model of amaravathi stupa from 2nd century which was unfortunately destroyed by earthquake or by hindus or it collapsed itself which is not known, but it was one of the largest free standing architecture in the ancient period, Kushan kings constructed the biggest free standing architecture in the 1st centry AD which is called Kanishka stupa (you can read about its chinese accounts and the gigantic construction it was at that time) if you want to compare their grandiose, you can see go to cylon and observe some 3nd century constructed srilankan stupa Jetavanaramaya and imagine it plastered with carved marbles which you can still see at the british museum. Indians were known for constructing multi story buildings, just read the xuanxang accounts of nalanda university who’s walls were so high that the rain would fall from the top due to condensed vapours, this is not stated by indians by by foreign visitors to india. all these gigantic constructions didn’t survive because of 1) war, 2) climatic conditions of india 3) they used bricks, they didn’t use slaves like romans to tow gigantic rocks to construct roman temples.