As someone interested in the geo-political picture, I’m fascinated by what might happen as we enter what has been called the post-America world when the USA ceases to have the totally dominant position on the globe that it has enjoyed since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The obvious candidates for a vital role in a new multi-polar world are China and India, both of which I have visited and admire.
But the news of massive power outages in India in the last few days – affecting more than 700 million or some one in 12 of the planet’s population – highlights the contrast in the infrastructure investment in India and China respectively. Since 2006, China has added about six times more power than India to its national grid each year.
I am reminded of a conversation I had with an Indian businessman during my last trip to China. In my account of the visit, i noted of the conversation:
“The Shanghai Airlines flight from Dalian to Shanghai – a distance of 545 miles (875 km) – was a Boeing 737 and the journey took just under one and a half hours. Roger spent the whole flight talking to a 29 year old Indian guy called Ashish, currently living in London and working as an engineer with the Ford Motor Company. He does business in India and China and commented on how Indians think that they are an emergent superpower on a par with China whereas he believes that India simply does not have the infrastructure of China or the enterprise of the Chinese.”