Kina og India knives om hvem som skal bli den store regionale supermakten. Kina har opplevd en fenomenal vekst, men ettbarnspolitikkens suksess gjør nå at befolkningen eldes.

Risikoen for sosial uro er til stede.

Nicholas Kristof har noen interessante betraktninger om styrke/svakhet ved de to:

India has a solid financial system, while China’s banking system is a catastrophe. And India is in better shape demographically for long-term growth: China has already reaped most of the economic benefits of population control and is now rapidly aging, but India’s population will be disproportionately working-age for many decades to come (a factor that strongly correlates with economic growth).

India’s democracy, free press and civil society also provide a measure of political stability. Sure, India can erupt, as it did with the slaughter of Muslims in Gujarat in 2002. But the risks of social and political explosions in India are declining, while in China they may be rising.

China will probably manage its eventual transition to democracy with bearable turbulence, as Taiwan and South Korea did, but with China anything is conceivable, including a coup d’état, mass unrest or even civil war.

Yet if democracy is one of India’s strengths, it’s also a weakness. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh knows exactly what to do, and I’ve rarely met a leader more competent (or less charismatic). But his reforms are stalled or slowed in the Indian political labyrinth. India’s basic problem is that its economic policy-making isn’t nearly as shrewd, pro-growth or farsighted as China’s.

That’s a tragedy: we should all want India to demonstrate that democracy is an advantage. But Indian lawmakers aren’t helping.

Det er forferdelig mye «red tape» for å kunne starte opp noe i India. India har heller ikke modernisert sin infrastruktur. Det har Kina.

Kristof holder en knapp på Kina som hegemon-makt ved slutten av århundret. Men usikkerhetsmomentene er mange.

Når vil Kina ta ansvar for verdensordenen, slik USA har gjort i årtier? Vil landet fortsette å sette egne interesser foran hensynet til den globale orden?

Penger har de nok av.

China’s state media on Monday reported that the country’s foreign currency reserves swelled by more than one-third last year to a record $819 billion as its factories churned out goods for markets around the world, heightening the likelihood of fresh trade tensions with the United States.

Coupled with news only days earlier that China’s world trade surplus tripled last year, to $102 billion, the country’s burgeoning foreign exchange reserves seemed certain to intensify demands that China increase the value of its currency, the yuan, the worth of which is linked to the dollar. U.S. manufacturing groups argue that China’s currency is priced too low, making its goods unfairly cheap on world markets. Lawmakers in Congress have pressed a bill that would impose across-the-board punitive tariffs on all Chinese goods unless the country substantially raises the value of its currency.

Foreign Currency Piles Up in China
Reserve Fund Soared to Record in 2005