• Roderick MacFarquhar


Asia’s Giants: Comparing China and India contains many illuminating approaches to the subject of the title, especially focusing on the binary of authoritarianism versus democracy. In comparisons between various aspects of the development of these two mega-nations since the late 1940s, the chapters tend to make the case that, contrary to received wisdom, India’s record compares quite well with China’s, and in some instances surpasses it. Rather than preview those issues, in this introduction I seek to draw attention to some interesting coincidences and, more significantly, differences in the political development of the two countries, in particular, how their institutions are able to handle potential crises. I conclude that in two key arenas, handling succession and dealing with society, India has built better than China.


Chinese Communist Party Cultural Revolution Congress Party Collective Violence Falun Gong 
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© Edward Friedman and Bruce Gilley 2005

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  • Roderick MacFarquhar

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