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Investment News and Commentary from Emerging Markets in Asia - China, India and ASEAN

About discusses business and investment news rising from the geopolitical relations of China and India, and the interactions these two countries have with the rest of emerging Asia.

The China vs. India World Cup Final

By Chris Devonshire-Ellis

Jun. 4 – To give the other competing soccer nations a chance of success at this month’s World Cup Soccer Finals in South Africa, neither China nor India deigned to qualify, thus denying us the sight of what would undoubtedly be a clash of the BRIC titans. To compensate, I’ve compiled a list of recent events where China and India have been pitted against each other, although actual competitive sporting events between the two are quite rare.

In the China vs. India World Cup Final, we’ll take the overall winner as the country that won the most events out of the following recent sporting clashes. Please let us know if you are aware of other recent China vs. India sporting events that should be included.

This is how it panned out.

Asian 5 Nations Rugby, New Delhi, June 2, 2010
The Asian 5 Nations is a serious rugby event and a precursor to the Rugby World Cup. Sponsored by HSBC, Asian interest in rugby has exploded – with the region tripling the number of national teams in the last decade. This match, the most recent sporting event between the two countries, was the semi-final of the Asian 5 Nations between two countries expected to develop as Asian rugby powerhouses in the next few years. China capitulated, losing a whopping 94-0 to India, who will meet the Philippines in the final to be held tomorrow. China will play off against Thailand the same day for a third place medal.

Senior Asian Wrestling Championships, New Delhi, May 17, 2010
WrestlingIndia is the king of Asia when it comes to wrestling, and the current gold medal champions in the heavier events. But at the Asian Wrestling Championships, China’s Zhang Feng came up against India’s Anuj Kumar in the 84 kg freestyle. In a bad tempered bout, both contestants received warnings for foul play, but it was Zhang who eventually triumphed. Unfortunately, he got knocked out in the next round to the eventual silver medalist.

Archery16th Asian Archery Championship, Bali, November 20, 2009
At the Asian Archery Championships last year, the Indians were generally the side to beat. Both the Indian and the Chinese women’s teams lost their semi-final matches in the recurve events, but came head to head in a battle for lost pride and the third place. China prevailed on this occasion and denied the Indians a bronze.

Team Chess, Asian Indoor Games, Macau, October 27, 2009
Both China and India are keen chess nations, with India currently boasting the world number one, Viswanathan Anand, who recently confirmed his position at the World Chess Championship Match in Sofia, Bulgaria last month. The last time the two nations came head to head was last year at the team chess event at the Asian Indoor Games in Macau. The final, true to form, saw top seed China placed against second seed India. The Indians upset the form book however by winning and getting the gold.

FIBA Asia Championship 2009, Tianjin, August 6, 2009
While the Chinese team had a definite height advantage against the smaller Indians, the Indian team had scored some upsets and was not adverse to some “rough” tactics. In this opening day clash, China’s superiority eventually told after a rocky start against a plucky Indian side. But once China secured their domination, it was all over for India as the Chinese routed them 121-49.

Asian Boxing Championships, Zhuhai, June 13, 2009
In front of a fiercely partisan crowd in Zhuhai, South China, the gold medal fight for the Asian Championships came down to China’s best boxer and local favorite Li Chao, and India’s Suranjoy Singh. Singh lost the first round, but came back as both boxers traded blows and scored points off each other. At 7-7, Singh then let fly a flurry of blows to put him ahead 9-7 and although Li pulled a point back, it was not enough as Singh held on in the final seconds to win 9-8. To date, this is the most keenly contested and most senior event the two countries have been pitched together. Singh returned to Delhi a national hero.

Final Result: China 3, India 3

Next event: International Cricket, 2010 Asian Games, Guangzhou, November 2010
What would have been the biggest event between the two nations, and the one to watch out for, was the upcoming Twenty20 competition during the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou. Unfortunately for China-India watchers (but probably fortunate for the Chinese cricket team), India has pulled out of the tournament due to international commitments. This is the first time cricket is being played at the Asian Games and India was very likely to medal as the team is currently playing very well in the Twenty20 format that is being played.

China first participated in international cricket last year, and suffered some heavy defeats. However their last competitive match also saw them win their first game, a victory over Myanmar by 118 runs. The Chinese national cricket team is set to  play against Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates.

Chris Devonshire-Ellis is the principal and founding partner of Dezan Shira & Associates, establishing the firm’s China practice in 1992 and the India practice in 2007. The firm now has ten offices in China and five in India. For advice over China-India strategy, trade, investment, legal and tax matters please contact the firm at [email protected]. The firm’s brochure may be downloaded here. Chris also contributes to Asia Briefing’s other titles, India Briefing, China Briefing and Vietnam Briefing.

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4 Responses to The China vs. India World Cup Final

  1. Mark says:

    “Both China and India are keen chess nations”

    I don’t think chess (not counting their version) is popular in China.

  2. Chris Devonshire-Ellis says:

    Well it doesn’t really matter – they compete internationally. The biggest board games in China: Chinese Chess, Backgammon, Western Chess.

  3. Titan_2000 says:

    The biggest board games in China:Chinese Chess, Weiqi(Go)

  4. Chris Devonshire-Ellis says:

    Chinese Chess doesn’t seem to have spread much beyond China, although I’ve found the Singapore association (, which seems the most formal, the Chinese National league site (, which seems the most active, and even the World Xiangqi Federation ( There’s also a Chinese site which appear Olympics accredited ( I’ll ask our China Expat site to do a piece on the history of the sport. Thanks – Chris

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