CRF Blog

India vs. China

by Bill Hayes

Writing in the New York Review of Books, Nobel Prize–winning economist Amarta Sen compares India and China in Quality of Life: India vs. China. One thing India has going for it is its democracy.

Freedom of expression has its own value as a potentially important instrument for democratic politics, but also as something that people enjoy and treasure. Even the poorest parts of the population want to participate in social and political life, and in India they can do so. There is a contrast as well in the use of trial and punishment, including capital punishment. China often executes more people in a week than India has executed since independence in 1947. If our focus is on a comprehensive comparison of the quality of life in India and China, we have to look well beyond the traditional social indicators, and many of these comparisons are not to China’s advantage. [more]