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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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China and India fighting for world power status

 
 

The balance of power is shifting as China and India gain power, said Julian Gaspar, a finance professor and director of the Center for International Business Studies.
“China is bordered by 17 countries and has disputes with almost all of them, so that’s why the Chinese believe that it’s very important to have power,” Gaspar said. “I don’t think India plans to or really intends to be a superpower.”
A panel presentation entitled “China or India: Who Will Be The Next World Power?” took place Tuesday night in Rudder Tower. The presentation was sponsored by the MSC L.T. Jordan Institute for International Awareness.
One of United States’ weaknesses is its inability to sell itself internationally after the Cold War, said Ian Weber, a communication professor. The United States does not invest in cultural exchange or information dissemination, whereas China makes a point to, he said.
“It’s non-confrontational,” Weber said. “(China) wants to be harmonious. All these kinds of things come through, and the more they invest in those kinds of educational exchanges, the more powerful they will become. So it’s not about whether it is a superpower, it’s about how it’s going to enact that power and where are you going to feel that power.”
China’s gross domestic product has grown consistently by about 8 to 9 percent, but the country focuses on growing in many other realms, said T. H. Kwa, an Asian business environment professor.
“If you look at China’s five-year plan, they’re very very concerned about the social implications of growth,” Kwa said. “They’re very concerned about the social services; the wealth gap, the disparity between the poor and the rich.”
Hard statistics show that China leads India in foreign investments, a key factor in economic growth, by a margin of 10 to one, Kwa said. China has a literacy percentage of about 90 percent, compared to India’s 60 percent, Kwa said.
“(China has) a big pool of talents to move the engines of development,” Kwa said.
Arun Surendran, a graduate student studying aerospace engineering, said the phrase “world power” is irrelevant in the 21st century.
“When we look at the history of human civilization, it is very clear that seats of power have shifted geographically with every major paradigm shift in human thought and evolution of the mind,” Surendran said. “The most recent advancement ushering the shuffle of power being the information age.”
If being a world power rests on a country’s cultural influence, China and India are both there, Surendran said.
“If there is a race in terms of numbers, in the foreseeable future, the Democratic Republic of India does not stand a chance in front of People’s Republic of China,” Surendran said. “If real progress, prosperity and growth can only follow from such free flow of information and the exchange of ideas and perspectives, then it is in that characteristic and in that knowledge that India’s world power status rests.”

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