A 2009 survey conducted by a Beijing-based consultancy group revealed stark differences in how the general public in the two fastest growing economies in the world view each other.
The survey, administered annually since 2000 by Horizon Research Consultancy, was presented to the second India-China Forum in Beijing on May 15. It found that many Chinese parents discourage their children from studying abroad in India because they think India is “not advanced. ”
However, more Indians view China as a rising land of opportunity, and are subsequently more willing to venture to their eastern neighbor to travel and conduct business.
“What we found was that Chinese people still have many misperceptions about India, ” said Yuan Yue, chairman of Horizon Research as he presented the survey’s findings to the forum. “Chinese people feel India is developing slowly, but the majority of Indian people feel China is an emerging country which will soon even replace the U. S. ”
The survey discovered that Chinese view India as the “weakest” of all BRIC nations, and India’s business and education opportunities ranked below regions such as the United States, Europe, Russia and South Korea. According to Yue, nearly half of Indian respondents believe China will replace the United States as the world’s superpower.
The findings also highlight differences in how Chinese view their broader political relationship with India. Only 2.2 percent of Chinese regarded India as the friendliest country in the world, ranking the country after North Korea, Russia and the European Union in perception of friendliness. 4.9 percent of Chinese respondents reported that Pakistan was a better partner for China in 2009.
“Very few Chinese know that India is a rising power. They don’t perceive India as a rising economy, ’’ Yue told the Hindustan Times.
Despite these misunderstandings, a host of common issues and economic ties are slowly bringing the countries closer after a difficult history marred by war and competing Cold War alliances.
Total China-India trade grew by 34 percent in 2008 to US$51 billion, and the two countries formed a powerful negotiating bloc at the 2009 Copenhagen climate summit, proving China and India can cooperate when interests align.
The Horizon Research survey did mirror some of this gradual increase in goodwill, providing a small cause for optimism in a still difficult relationship. In 2003, only 35 percent of Chinese respondents had a ‘good attitude’ toward India. In 2009, the number rose to 45 percent, a near match to the 46 percent of Indians who share the same positive view of China.
This article was written by Joe Drury for the website, 2Point6Billion.com.The website is maintained by the experts at Dezan Shira & Associates who maintain business advisors and .