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For the landmark in Târgovişte, see Chindia Tower. For a person of mixed Chinese and Indian origin, see Chindian.
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Chindia is a portmanteau word that refers to China and India together in general. The credit of coining the now popular term goes to Indian Member of Parliament Jairam Ramesh. China and India share long borders, are both regarded as growing countries and are both among the fastest growing major economies in the world. Together, they contain over one-third of the world's population (nearly 2.7 billion). They have been named as countries with the highest potential for growth in the next 50 years in a BRIC report. BRIC is a grouping acronym that refers to the countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China.


The economic strengths of these two countries are considered complementary, in particular China is perceived to be strong in manufacturing and infrastructure while India is perceived to be strong in services and information technology. Both countries are relatively underdeveloped and require improvements in these areas in order to be technologically competitive with developed economies.

China is stronger in hardware while India is stronger in software. China is stronger in physical markets while India is stronger in financial markets. The countries also share certain historical interactions - the spread of Buddhism from India to China and British-European trade on the Silk Road are famous examples. Additionally, China's needs are changing as the economy matures, its acute focus on energy is lessening as energy prices plunge, renewables energy comes online, and major energy producers ramp up. At the same time, China's need for markets for its manufacturing base is growing especially as overcapacity issues bite and US and Japan are intent on wrestling away markets in favor of other less developed nations via trade pacts like Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Contrarian POV[edit]

However, there are also geopolitical, cultural, economic, linguistic and political differences between China and India that imply the term has a weak association. The effects of the Sino-Indian War of 1962 have meant that relations between the countries have been cautious and slow, but perhaps more importantly, the geographic barrier that the Himalayas represent provide potent mutual isolation. Indeed, the core of both civilizations, the Indo-Gangetic plain and the Central China Plain lies thousands of miles away across extremely inhospitable terrain. As such, direct ties and exchanges have languished, shockingly even in Nov 2015 in spite of both Modi's Act East policy and China's One Road One Belt push, still only 5 direct daily flights exist between the two giants, reflecting just how far the gulf between the two countries really is.[1] It is often overlooked the role Southeast Asia has played in stitching together the two collections of cultures, both historically and contemporaneously.

Politically, China can be characterized as a single party authoritarian state whereas India is a democracy of hundreds of political parties. India's culture can be characterized by a high degree of pluralism[2] whereas China has a more ethnically homogeneous population,[3] though the concept of Han ethnicity is itself challenged. The commonly cited complementary nature of China and India's economies is also being questioned as the service sector in China is rapidly growing,[4] while India's manufacturing sector has seen rapid growth in recent years.[5][6] China also has a head start in international marketplaces and is a large investor in Africa.[7] There is also the belief that China has greater geopolitical clout than India as well as a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.

Additionally, China's massive infrastructure investments into Pakistan rather than India suggest the concept of Chindia(n) integration may be pre-mature and/or politically inconvenient.[8]

Challenges for growth[edit]

It is seen at present for both India and China to overcome major and mutual challenges such as regional and societal income disparities, moving up the value chain towards greater innovation, and also environmental degradation for Chindia to prosper and actually take effect in future.[9]

Serious difficulties in attempting to find a mutually acceptable settlement for a 2520 miles (4056 km) frontier has been a major stumbling block between the two countries ever since India's independence in 1947. Technical discussions have been going on for decades. They will continue. The difference is that these discussions are now coupled with the leaders' firm pledge to find a peaceful solution.[10]

Emerging Asia[edit]

China and India are the most populous countries in the world, with well over a billion people each, and barriers to their mutual isolation are coming down as China races to develop and hold on to Tibet, meanwhile India is countering with its own policies to hold on to underdeveloped fringe areas, especially the Northeast and Himalayan areas. Additionally the developments in neighboring countries, such as the political and economic opening up of Myanmar, are sparking ideas regarding regional connectivity.

China is seen to assert its global leadership. Many countries in the world are now counting on China to lead the recovery from the recent US economic crisis and the European debt crisis.[11] China has also shown leadership ambitions through proposing an alternative reserve currency to the US dollar and extending yuan swap lines to several Asian and even non-Asian states.

Citigroup predicts that the economies of China and India will have surpassed that of the United States by 2030.[12]

Innovation, education and business[edit]

Today, China and India are producing some of the world's best-trained computer science and electrical engineering graduates.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Baidyanath, Saraswati (2006). "Cultural Pluralism, National Identity and Development". Interface of Cultural Identity Development (1stEdition ed.). New Delhi: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. xxi+290 pp. ISBN 81-246-0054-6. Retrieved 2007-06-08.
  3. ^ "List of ethnic groups in China and their population sizes". Paul and Bernice Noll's Window on the World.
  4. ^ "Unlocking China's Services Sector". Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
  5. ^ "Sensex vaults 384 pts on IIP data, earnings hopes". Sify.
  6. ^ "Gaining strength". Business Standard.
  7. ^ "China's Rising Role in Africa". Council on Foreign Relations.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "'Chindia' future and its fate". Business Monitor Online.
  10. ^ Ianovitch, Michael. "Is 'Chindia' Asia's New Dream Team?". CNBC. CNBC. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  11. ^ "Europe looks to China for possible bailout help from debt crisis". Economic Times. 27 October 2011.
  12. ^ Evans-Pritchard, mbrose (28 February 2011). "'Chindia' rule the world in 2050: Citigroup and HSBC". London: The Telegraph.
  13. ^ "The Exponential Power of 'Chindia'". BusinessWeek.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]