Why do most Indians keep comparing India to Chinese GDP growth, while China is about to overtake the US' economy?



Subodh Mathur, Ph.D Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1980)

I am pleased that Indians are comparing themselves to China - and not to Pakistan. This is what I am asking young Indians to do, with my motto:

Wake up. Wake up. Wake up. China, not Pakistan. China, not Pakistan. China, not Pakistan.

China is close to the US in GDP, and will probably overtake the US. That’s a huge and and major achievement. It will make China powerful in the world. But, China is way behind the US in GDP per capita - not even remotely close.

So? Why compare India and China? Today, India is way behind China, no doubt about it. And, Indian cannot catch up with China even in 30 years. No doubt about it.

But, if you are a young - under 40 years - Indian, you have more than 30 years to think about. India can catch up to China in 40 years. It will require a focus on economic growth - for the Indian economy to grow at 10+ percent.

Oh wow! India at this high rate? Not possible, you say. Well, China did hit such growth rates. India has the potential to do well. It’s not rocket science or some magic trick. It’s hard, sustained work. With benefits to all as the economy grows.

So, I urge young Indians to focus on catching up to China - in both GDP and GDP per capita. Don’t feel disheartened. It’s doable. How? See my various writings on Quora. The most unexpected one: Get India’s CMs to focus on economic growth.









MS Ankur, studied at Pondicherry University

Both India and China are at same levels of GDP during 1980. There after China has taken big leap by embarking on new form of capitalism with Chinese characters. As of now Indian GDP is 2.8 trillion dollars, Chinese GDP 12 trillion dollar. Since it is our neighbor and emerging global power challenging USA unipolar world, we tend to compare ourselves with China. Its something good sign to compare with China rather than Pakistan. At any stretch of imagination, its impossible to overtake Chinese GDP in the horizon of next 5 decades. we are lagging behind in building infrastructure on par with Chinese that is the root cause of poor investment . It needs sustained 10% growth rate over the next 10 years to reach 12 trillion dollars economy by that time China will become 20 trillion dollar economy. According to latest RBI predictions growth is projected at 6.1 % , so it's pretty difficult to triple the economy at such low level of growth.



Pabitra Saha

Indian always try to compare themselves with USA although they know that USA is far ahead. They should compare themselves regional countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka etc. This is because they overestimate themselves. India is a backward country, ranking around 140 of 170 countries but its leaders keep on harping about their greatness, ignoring the ground root reality.



Rahul Kardam, Entrepreneur, Web-Developer and an investor at heart.

Original Question - Why do most Indians keep comparing India to Chinese GDP growth, while China is about to overtake the US' economy?

Why is that even a question ? It's pretty obvious to compare with something better. For god's sake, we (Indians) are now in the top 7 economies of the world by GDP. There are not many countries left to compare with.

And am so glad that we have stopped comparing to Pakistan. The millennials might find it funny today, but there existed a time when Pakistan was giving tough competition to India (adjusted for size). Glad those days passed.

Out of the top 7, most are European . Then there is USA . It makes perfect sense to compare to China given both are Asian countries, gained their fre m nearly the same time , seen progress from zero to hero since independence.





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Ramakrishna Somasekhara Kurup, former Finance Officer (Retired) at Government of Kerala (1995-2010)

Everybody compare their fortunes with their neighbors. In most cases comparison is made with a richer neighbor rather than a poor neighbor. The comparison may be out of jealous. If the neighbor happened to be an enemy the comparison will be more proclaimed. It is the human behavior.

China is our neighbor. China is richer than us. China is an enemy country in the sense that we had a war with them in early 1960s. We have boundary dispute with China. Some part of Jammu and Kashmir is still in the possession of China which is not in line with our liking.. So China deserved to be compared to satisfy out psyche.




R Somasekhara Kurup, former Retired Finance Officer at Government of Kerala (1978-2010)

Indians seems to be more jealous against others. They are jealous against their relatives who are better off, against neighbours who are rich, against near by villages, states or countries where affairs are better of. They compare with those above them, but never compare with others who are below them

China being a rich neighbouring country we compare us with them




Aritra Muhuri, B.Sc.(Hons.) Agriculture Agriculture & Science, Mandaur University (2021)

India faces this psychological competition because both the Indian and Chinese civilization started of together.

But, post British rule over the subcontinent, India has only seen decline in its GDP while China, despite its massive population(more than India), has seen a dramatic growth. Companies like Huwaei, Xiaomi have reached heights and are competing with the two heavyweights in the tech industry.

And why not compare? Only one of the best competes with THE BEST. And not only should we compare the GDP. India also faces war threats from the China. Notwithstanding the fact the India is a peace loving nation, one cannot stand back if the other attacks. To sustain, and counter-attack, GDP needs to be well placed and on the up. And dramatically, India has placed itself among the top ranks, driving its way against the odds.





Pradip Gangopadhyay, Seeker of Truth

It is only natural that India wants to compare her economic growth with that of China. If India is to catch up with China, She will have to grow faster than China for the next many decades. Hence there is this interest in comparing with China.



Kirthi Anand Karthikeyan, Executive Product Development and Design (2019-present)

Most Indians keep comparing India to Chinese GDP growth rate as it's almost the same. Except for the base value of GDP. China is about to overtake US economy. But china has its own set of weakness which will create a trouble. Just like the current economic slowdown.



Sayak Biswas, lives in India

In two words- Lost opportunity

India and China weren’t much different in economic progress when China was under Mao Zedong.. India meanwhile was having it’s fine dalliance with what some so-called economists termed as “Hindu Rate of Growth”, a statement which in years to come was to become a subject of mockery and later on fallacy.

Deng  went on to introduce some radical changes in economy in all sectors, Deng had a fine saying[1] -It doesn’t matter whether a cat is black or white as long as it catches mice

Wise words from a wise man. And those words changed China.

India meanwhile, had it’s own, somewhat diluted moment when in 1991 the go nment liberalized the economy, India happens to be a de acy , where parties care less about long-term goals and more about short-term benefits.







In simple words, the CAT works well under hard men and women in form of decision-makers, soldiers, workers, farmers, engineers, doctors, because it’s always the hard men and women who create the society, not some self-styled internet-armed baizuos [2] .

So, support the CAT,support India, and maybe the next four decades you might see a change for good



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