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‘India Should Be More Like China’

Nov. 2 – The former campaign manager to U.S. President Barack Obama, Peter Dagher, suggested in New Delhi at an event organized by the Observer Research Foundation on Tuesday that India should follow China’s lead in conducting relations with the United States.

With just a few days until President Obama departs for his 10-day tour of Asia on Friday, Dagher’s feedback casts an interesting light on the agendas and actions of Asian countries, and how these countries make themselves heard in the global arena.

Obama is expected to address a host of economic issues including currency, trade imbalances, and collective action problems with regional countries India, Indonesia, South Korea, and Japan.

Dagher’s comments, while independent from the Obama administration’s official foreign policy agenda, offer a candid picture of Sino-U.S. relations, and provide an interesting take on how India could boost its public image in the region.

In comparing India and China’s relations with the United States, Dagher bluntly observed, “If the slightest thing is said against the Chinese, they react. They do saber-rattling. You have heard the expression, the squeaking wheel gets the grease.”

China’s accelerated growth in the past decade has drawn much global attention, but increasing interest is being given to India’s economic progress. India’s GDP growth rate hit 8.8 percent this year, and is expected to grow in 2011. While China continues to best India in manufacturing, India’s potential continues to develop in service industries and outsourcing.

Dagher suggested that for India to effectively wield regional and global power, its economic potential must be coupled with a healthy dose of self-esteem. “It has to realize its power,” he stated at the event.

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8 Responses to ‘India Should Be More Like China’

  1. The_Observer says:

    When I read the title I thought the article would have said that India should be more organized and build up infrastructure to help her people, business & industry and the neglected tribal areas. Instead you have an American (?) telling the Indian administration to have hissy fits at the US administraion when the former doesn’t get her way???

  2. ajay says:

    Exactly, If India has to learn from China that would be how to keep head low and grab natural resources all over the planet. Seems to me, Dagher has not followed China over last 2 decades. But this is not a surprise, lots of commentary from US peeps is simply wrong. Just like there rating agencies, banks and etc next American generation has bit of a gap between what is perceived as truth and actual truth. There media is also to blame for some of this. Newspapers/TV are now just a propaganda tool who twist news as they deem fit. It is no surprise that they have chosen equally incompetent leader. This is just one of many things which signals coming demise of America.

  3. Chris Devonshire-Ellis says:

    @Observer – I think more an observation of traditional Indian restraint against an increasingly antagonistic Chinese diplomacy towards the US. I just spoke with the US Ambassador to China today and he said that as China is now part of the global shop window, it will face more criticism than before, just as the US has done and will continue to do. I guess the Chinese are just not used to it. Thanks – Chris

  4. Deek says:

    I do not agree with Peter’s theory. Next 7-10 years are crucial to India’s growth. The country can go either way esp if the Infrastructure is not handled properly. All these “self esteem talk” should be considered when there is a base of atleast $5 trillion economy. Before that, it will be foolish to antagonize the whole world.

    Even China did the same. It was more flexible 8-10 years from now…compared to today. But I doubt that India will be “hostile” or “threatening” to other countries in 8-10 years…esp if its borders / integrity is not at stake.

  5. HK says:

    @Chris,

    “I think more an observation of traditional Indian restraint …”

    Traditional Indian restraint. This is something new to me. India is known to be meddlesome to her neighbors. I don’t know what you are talking about here.

  6. Chris Devonshire-Ellis says:

    @HK. I think India has shown considerable restraint towards Pakistan and China recently, and in the face of some not inconsiderable provocation. – Chris

  7. Finnegan says:

    This guy is right- India must push for things from the USA if it is ever going to get anywhere. NOt start wars with neighbors, just know that it can get things.

  8. Raj says:

    Was researching for a story on the China-US visit today in Washington, DC, and came across this article. And I completely agree with Peter’s take on how differently China and India deal with the US.

    China plays all sides and they do not bow. Some of these comments reveal the writer (see ajay above) did not read the article.

Comments are closed.



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