April 04, 2006

India and China -- An Interesting Comparison

Here is an interesting discussion of the relative competitive advantages of India and China, by a person of mixed Chinese and subcontinental ancestry now living in China.

What struck me about the relative situations of the two countries as described here is that most of the things holding India back are fixable in the near future; most of the problems with China are deep-seated and will require luck and a probably difficult transition period to work themselves through. This suggests that India will continue to accelerate, more slowly for a while and then faster as the effects of reform accumulate. China may continue to go forward smoothly, or it may hit a wall in the not too distant future.

Posted by James C. Bennett at April 4, 2006 04:28 PM

My comparison of the two, "Interesting India, Competitive China" is at

Posted by: Steve Sailer at April 4, 2006 06:20 PM

My Indian friends frequently tell me that they are far from representative of their country and that Westerners should not generalize from the software industries of Bangalore to all of India. Due to the endogamous caste system, India is very diverse, much more so than China.

Since we know from Lynn and Vanhanen's "IQ and the Wealth of Nations" that national average IQ correlates with national average GDP per capita at r = 0.73, the big question is what are the national average IQs of China and India.

Lynn's new book "Racial Differences in Intelligence" lists about 600 IQ studies from around the world. From China, he found 10 studies, with an average of 106 (on a scale where the UK is 100). These studies are all from 1990 onward, and the scores appear to be somewhat higher than earlier, when China was much more poorly nourished and educated. The range of the recents studies runs from 101 to 113.

For India, Lynn found 13 studies, from 1966 through 2000. They range from 78 to 88, with an average of 83. There is likely to be some upward movement in test scores in the future as Indians become better nourished and better educated. Still, India appears to have a long, long way to to catch up to

Posted by: Steve Sailer at April 4, 2006 06:32 PM

Seems right to me! The biggest thing to watch with China is how they will, in the future, deal with a major crisis. Although 2003 saw something like 60,000 reported incidents of unrest throughout the country, Chinese people still see the regime as being legitimate insofar that they enable continued growth and prosperity.

Because never, ever in the history of the capitalist economy has any economy maintained robust growth indefinitely. Because of China's massive size and problems, they don't even begin to break even until they are humming at 4% growth. At some point, that meteoric growth we've seen will plateau and fall ... and the CCP will risk being seen as being an inhibitor to China's progress.

Posted by: Anton Traversa at April 4, 2006 07:15 PM

Still, the smartest indians are, I think, smarter than the smartest chinese. As a chinese with contact with both chinese and indian students, it's just anecdote, but I really think the indians have the edge in the upper IQ regions.

Besides, it's well known that indians have made gigantic contributions to mathematics. As for us chinese... well...

On the whole, of course, it's the mean IQ, and the smart fraction of the population, that counts. Here's this very interesting statistical study I've found.

Posted by: The Wobbly Guy at April 5, 2006 05:03 AM

Hi guys - I'm a fan of your blog and I can't find your e-mail address on the site (do you have a public e-mail address so that we can e-mail you?) - but I just found an article that I think might interest you: Virginia *revoked the common law* in Virginia! (There was an old law saying that they follow the common law when it doesn't contradict statutes, and that law was revoked.) See www.spareink.com for a link. I'd love to get your feedback on that!

Posted by: Morgan at April 5, 2006 08:39 AM

Virginia did what?? That's too bad because I was sort of privately trying to get Virginia provisional membership in the Commonwealth of Nations. Rats.

By the way I don't think it's helpful to say that Indians are somehow inherently smarter than Chinese. Their IQ scores, if they are really higher on average, probably reflect better nurturing from a democratic government than the stifling of creativity and innovation from the CCP.

Posted by: Anton Traversa at April 5, 2006 09:06 AM

The whole question of trying to make conclusions about "national IQs" from these tests is problematic. Differential national IQ rates could mean that there are inherent differences in IQ, but they could just as easily mean that the socio-cultural-economic differences between nations produce differential IQ scores for environmental reasons. At any rate, recent genetics work tends to suggest that national communities for the most part are meaningless as genetic categories, as are most of the perceived "races" used in common discussion.

In a few years further genomic studies and fMRI imaging of the brain will tell us far more about heredity and intelligence (and the nature of intelligence) than we can infer today from the wide and rather problematic assortment of statistical studies available today. I think specualton about it is a waste of tme right now.

Whatever assumptions you care to make about IQ and nationality, with populations in the billions range, neither India nor China are about to have any lack of very bright people. If you ask "how many very intelligent people are there in India and China?" the answer is "Far more than are getting the appropriate educations and opportunities at the moment." They both have a lot of low-hanging fruit to pick and will for decades to come.

Posted by: Jim Bennett at April 5, 2006 10:37 AM

Jim, as I said, China's IQ scores have been slowly trending upwards in recent decades, and I expect the same pattern to be visible in India fairly soon as the post-1991 improvements in India take effect.

Nonetheless, the crucial point is that China appears to have a lead on India of at least one standard deviation, and from all we know about national IQ trends over time, the possibility of that gap disappearing before, say, 2050, is unlikely. Relative differences in average national IQs change more slowly than, say, relative differences in average national height, which take a couple of generations to fully work through the system.

Whether these big differences in IQ between China and India originate in purely environmental differences or from a mix of environment and genetics is not all that relevant until you start thinking about the second half of this century. So, it's best not to get distracted by this contentious issue. Whatever the cause of the big IQ difference between China and India, it will very likely still exist for the rest of my lifetime, so the existence of that gap is a fact of world-historical importance.

Posted by: Steve Sailer at April 5, 2006 04:38 PM

Both China and India have crafted their educational systems to reflect the big difference in variation of intelligence between the two countries. India, which is much more diverse, has emphasized ultra-elite higher education, with much success. China has emphasized getting the whole population up to, roughly, a high school graduate level, with much less investment in world-class post-graduate institutions.

Posted by: Steve Sailer at April 5, 2006 04:41 PM

If you are interested in learning about the study of national average IQ scores and their relationship to economic success, which is one of the most under-publicized questions in the world today (for obvious reasons of political incorrectness), many have found my first article on the subject back in 2002 a good introduction:


Posted by: Steve Sailer at April 5, 2006 04:51 PM

One big and potentially significant difference between India and China is that historically Indians have been much more comfortable with political fragmentation than the Chinese. For the Chinese, fragmentation has generally been a brief, unpleasant period between dynasties; for the Indians, empires have been the exception to the rule.

Right now, both countries have internal strains that might yet lead to secession or breakup, but China’s problems are more serious and the culture is much more poorly equipped to handle them. India has nothing like the separatist movements in Tibet and Xinjiang, or the widening prosperity gap between the Chinese coastal provinces and the interior, or the Chinese government’s determination to somehow bring Taiwan and the overseas Chinese into the fold.

There’s no way to know if India will go the distance, of course, but China’s problems in the not-too-distant future look more intimidating. I’m just concerned that China’s “difficult transition” may be difficult and unpleasant for the rest of us as well.

Posted by: utron at April 5, 2006 05:19 PM

Utron is right that the Chinese have a dread of dissolution. They also lack any interest in the best means to prevent it in a large polity: federalism. Historically, China has needed a strong, unitary, centralized government, embodied in an emperor, to preserve domestic order and to fend off foreign threats. They seem to have a tough time seeing places on the continuum between the polar points of an overstrong center and anarchic regional warlordism.

The Indians, as you say, have always been a system of states, and have only had episodic periods of unity. The British ruled in India in this way, and at independence the Indians very wisely created a union of separate states with devolved powers. This reflects both India's historical experience as well as being a time-tested and effective Anglospheric response to the challenge of governing a large and diverse polity. The Indian approach is much more robust and flexible, and therefore a more stable arrangement to withstand the inevitable stresses and strains of rapid economic change.

One reads about the attempts to maintain this over-centralization in China, and how it runs afoul of local power. However, local authority ends up being asserted in the form of disregarding central authority in a technically lawless way, rather than carving out a space for legitimate local authority. Like so much else about China, this all suggests not strength but brittleness.

I do hope very much that the Chinese will not have some disaster befall them. But you have to worry when you see them sticking to institutional arrangements which are not conducive to dealing with problems which are ongoing now or just around the corner.

Posted by: Lex at April 5, 2006 05:37 PM

"They seem to have a tough time seeing places on the continuum between the polar points of an overstrong center and anarchic regional warlordism."

I've always thought the overweaning ambitions of regional leaders greedy for money and power being the flipside of chinese entrepeneurial drive. Believe what you will, but chinese can be the most selfish people in the world.

As to why they can't see that federalism leads to the best outcome for everybody, that's a discussion for another day.

Posted by: The Wobbly Guy at April 5, 2006 10:05 PM

Anyone interested in India might be interested in the following book: "India, Emerging Power" by Stephen Philip Cohen. The book is well written and provides a good overview of recent history, current trends, etc.

Posted by: PN NJ at April 6, 2006 09:23 AM

Chinese people have IQ in the 101-114 range.
Indians have IQ in the 78-88 range.

I am sure the highest IQ Chinese are involved in activities such as:
. wiping off hundreds of billions of bad debts magically in a few years.
. maintaining 10+ percent GDP growth calculated out of fictional numbers coming from provincial leaders.

If the Chinese government was involved in those IQ studies, I am very sceptical of the results.

Posted by: Tushar D at April 6, 2006 03:33 PM

Tushar is right: any statistic coming out of China is inherently suspect. I recall talking to some birdbrained student Maoist-poseur back in the 60s -- she said (I suppose that makes her a poseuse) "Well, India's a bourgeoise democracy, but its people are starving. In China everybody gets fed." I answered "If they don't have freedom, how can you know whether they are gtting fed or starving?" I still remember the dumbfounded look on her face - -it had never occurred to her that the Chinese government might be lying about it.

And of course they were starving -- China was undergoing perhaps an even bigger government-induced famine than Ukraine in the 30s.

Posted by: Jim Bennett at April 6, 2006 05:32 PM

"...any statistic coming out of China is inherently suspect..."


Robert Conquest said somewhere that the Soviet Union used to publish handsomely bound volumes of official statistics about their purported economic achievements. Meanwhile there were all these cheap pulp-paper books with lurid titles like "I Was A Prisoner in Siberia". Everything in the upbringing and education of sophisticated people in the West made them think that official-looking, dry, dull columns of officially published statistics must be true, and the other stuff must be the delusional ravings of crazy people. Conquest said that it took a lot of mental discipline to act on the realization that the statistical tomes were nothing but a bunch of fantastic lies with little or no connection to reality, while the poorly edited and cheaply bound memoir literature contained priceless, eye-witness factual accounts.

Modern China is not in the same league as 1930s Russia as far as dishonesty. But the basic idea that authoritarian regimes without democratic checks or a free press always lie, and routinely lie, and lie in ways that in other countries would be unthinkable or impossible, should always be remembered. China today is no exception.

And this all begs the question of whether IQ scores are totally bogus measure of anything, anyway, as I think they are.

Posted by: Lex at April 6, 2006 06:11 PM

Gentleman, wishing the data from IQ studies away by claiming it must be a Red Chinese government commie plot is a sorry excuse. You really need to learn more about this crucial topic. The data come from academic researchers publishing in refereed scientific journals, often in the employ of Anglosphere testing companies validating their IQ tests for use in other countries.

Lynn's new book also lists 9 studies from Hong Kong, eight of them during British rule, ranging from 103 to 122 (on a scale where Anglosphere whites average 100, with a standard deviation of 15).

There are two studies of Chinese in Singapore: 107 and 114. There are 11 from Taiwan, ranging from 100 to 110.

There are four from South Korea: with a range of 100 to 113.

And there are 23 from Japan, with averages running from 100 to 113.

Where separate scores on verbal vs. visual IQ subtests are available, typically people in these countries average higher on visual than on verbal.

All this is exactly what you'd expect from looking at the economic performance of East Asia in recent decades. IQ studies turn out to be a powerful tool for understanding the real world, but, I guess, a lot of people would rather rely on conspiracy theories.

Posted by: Steve Sailer at April 6, 2006 07:45 PM

Steve Sailer,
some questions:
. Was the Chinese Govt involved in directly or indirectly choosing which individuals were chosen to take the IQ test?
. Were the IQ testers allowed to go anywhere in China to pick up test subjects?
. Was the Chinese Govt permission needed to publish these reports? and did they refuse permission for some of them.
. Some studies were of Chinese people in Singapore. Will you be OK with a sample containing only Indians living in Silicon valley, and use the results as the Avg IQ of indians? If not, then how will you justify the Singapore study?


Posted by: Tushar D at April 6, 2006 08:07 PM

Uhm, Singapore chinese are not a reliable gauge, due to a different socio-economic environment. We're a statistical blip, and not in any way representative of the general chinese population.

A better anecdotal indicator would be to compare the chinese students in the US and Australia. I keep hearing stories(no idea how true they are) of chinese generally doing better in the hard sciences and engineering subjects.


Posted by: The Wobbly Guy at April 6, 2006 08:20 PM

You all would benefit from reading Jason Malloy's detailed critical summary of Richard Lynn's latest book at GNXP:


To quote from Malloy:

"Lynn now presents 101 different studies of East Asians and a combined sample of 128,322, giving an average IQ of 105. From 5 different Asian countries alone (China, Japan, S. Korea, Singapore, Taiwan), we are presented with 59 studies - 4 times as many studies from East Asia as Lynn presented in 1991. 34 of these new just since IQ&tWoN! The median IQ from these studies is 105. In responses to Flynn's earlier book, Lynn reanalyzes 27 studies of Asian-American IQ. In contrast to Flynn's 98, Lynn finds a slightly higher average IQ of 101 for Asian-Americans, from 9 studies previous to 1950 (consistent with their higher academic and professional accomplishments at that time). For 9 studies since 1950, Lynn finds an IQ of 104, virtually identical to countries in East Asia. Additional studies show similar East Asian IQ in Canada, Britain, the Netherlands, Brazil, and Malaysia."

In summary, you guys have got it backwards -- the Chinese data looks reliable, while the India data is much more questionable. There's really not much controversy anymore over the question of whether or not northeast Asians (Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans) have quite high average IQs.

The much more difficult question is the average IQ of India. Due to the caste system, India is so diverse that putting together anything resembling a nationally representative sample is much more challenging than in the more homogenous northeast Asian countries. Lynn lists 13 IQ studies from India, going back to the 1960s, with averages scores ranging from 78 to 88. But, how representative they are, I really can't say.

I have always written that India is by far the most difficult challenge for this type of analysis, and anyone wanting to understand the major forces influencing the 21st Century would want to know far more about Indian IQ than we currently have at our disposal.

Posted by: Steve Sailer at April 6, 2006 09:37 PM

I'd like to make a motion to move the discussion of purported race-based differences in IQ and economic performance to someone else's blog, maybe Steve's. This Jim's post, so he can police it however he wants. I just don't think it belongs here.

As for me, as an untermensch myself, I find it upsetting.

I don't do well on phrenology tests, either. They don't make calipers small enough for the craniums of pinheads like me. Three generations of imbeciles may be enough, but the smart people who are good workers haven't caught up with me yet. Maybe they'll be nice and let me clean their toilets.

I do sometimes find myself in agreement with some of Steve's policy proposals, actually.

Posted by: Lex at April 7, 2006 12:30 AM

I do not want to dwell on the point too much, but I asked this question:
"Some studies were of Chinese people in Singapore. Will you be OK with a sample containing only Indians living in Silicon valley, and use the results as the Avg IQ of indians? If not, then how will you justify the Singapore study?"

Steve Sailor did not answer, but pointed to more of the same:

In responses to Flynn's earlier book, Lynn reanalyzes 27 studies of Asian-American IQ. In contrast to Flynn's 98, Lynn finds a slightly higher average IQ of 101 for Asian-Americans, from 9 studies previous to 1950 (consistent with their higher academic and professional accomplishments at that time). For 9 studies since 1950, Lynn finds an IQ of 104, virtually identical to countries in East Asia. Additional studies show similar East Asian IQ in Canada, Britain, the Netherlands, Brazil, and Malaysia.

I would quote this from the same article:
South Asian Americans have not been tested to my knowledge, but data from income and education indicate they probably have IQs significantly higher than average - this is likely due to selective top-tier migration.

Posted by: Tushar D at April 7, 2006 07:10 AM

Only two of the 101 studies of East Asians were of Singaporeans, so, as you suggest, it's not worth dwelling on.

Obviously, Asian Indian immigrants in the U.S. are highly selected for IQ-related skills. Judging from their educational and income levels, they are probably at least in the same high range as Ashkenazi Jews in terms of average IQ, and possibly higher.

I'm sorry that Lex is upset, but, clearly, this is an important question that will have much bearing on the history of the human race in the 21st Century. It's important to have elite forums where socially unpopular realities can be discussed dispassionately. I hope this is one of them.

Posted by: Steve Sailer at April 7, 2006 07:35 AM

From the article: "But even if it is conceded that India may become more populous than China, many argue that it will never be richer . . ."

Except where military spending is concerned what is the importance of the total wealth of a country? I think a much more interesting question is which will have the greater per capita GDP and how they will compare to other, western countries. My understanding is that corruption is a hinderance to new business development in both countries which one would expect would keep per capita GDP well below that of less corrupt countries.

What is interesting is what can be learned about economic systems by studying the differences between countries and cultures. To compare economic systems total wealth is not as good an indicator as per capita GDP. However if different countries have different natural resources, or geographical advantages (ie sea ports) etc. that could cloud the issue. Possibly growth in per capita GDP would be better than merely per capita GDP for comparing the economic efficiencies of different countries.

Posted by: 452lk4j2 at April 8, 2006 06:50 AM

[Possibly growth in per capita GDP would be better than merely per capita GDP for comparing the economic efficiencies of different countries.]

Doesn't China win even more disproproportionately by that measure?

Posted by: scottynx at April 8, 2006 02:00 PM

I beleive it's important to study IQ, heredity, and the fates of nations. Inhereted smarts can be an important indicator of national success or failure. And I'm not disputing the numbers Steve presents here. But to focus on IQ to the exclusion of all else wouldn't be wise.

India, in my opinion, has advantages over China in four major areas: system of government, rule of law (meaning property rights/due process), financial system, and military organization. These aspects of Indian society stem from India's time as part of the British Empire, which is why we're here in the first place.

This is not to argue that India is without it's problems - widespread corruption, continuing caste discrimination, and so forth. However, India does have free, fair, and regularly scheduled elections, which tend to mitigate the worst parts of society and amplify the best. A dictatorship or ruling elite, especially one entrenched for 50+ years, will reach a point where it is not in touch with true conditions, both inside and outside the country. This is vital to the survival as the generations pass. A ruling elite may become obsessed with power struggles within the court and miss the gathering mob at the palace gates.

Property rights, even for the very poor, are often respected in India. In China, mass displacement and landless peasants are looming larger by the month. Read up on the Three Gorges Dam project. Developed coastal China stands in marked contrast to the interior, as well as Northern China vs. Southern China. This difference in affluence has political repercussions - many of the old guard tend to come from the Communist industrial background, say a factory manager from Harbin. Southern China, places like Hainan and Guangzhou, and certainly Hong Kong, are much more vital, economically.

However, the Chinese banking system is a mess, as well. All is well on the surface, but there are mountains of bad debt underneath. These banks have made enormous loans to state-owned industries that they will never recoup. Personal savings rates are gigantic in China because there isn't much in the way of pensions and retrirement. What happens when the banks begin to fail? How many bankrupt pensioners will have a son or grandson in the very large PLA?

Which brings us to the last item - military organization. The enormous Peoples Liberation Army went into business for itself after 1949. It wasn't unusual for military units to own small businesses, factories, collective farms, and even banks. Jiang and now Hu have tried pretty hard to curb business activity by officers, and they've had an effect. But old habits die hard.

India has adopted the concept of civilian control over the military. Such is not necessarily the case in China. The Party and the PLA are co-equal institutions that both report to the politburo. Chinese military units remain short on training and joint excercises by design - any unit that is too effective is a threat to the regime. Chinese units are riddled with a collection of political officers, undercover operatives of the regime security forces, and informers for same. These should be taken as indicators of uncertianty of security.

I'm sure Steve has a good point with the IQ numbers, and societal structures. While an Indian's life is largely defined by caste and sub-caste, a Chinese man's life also includes strong familial ties. Given a financial crisis, without the benefit of free speech and free elections to root out corruption, which society is more likely to weather the storm? Which government has shown a greater inclination to arbitrarily engineer change on a massive scale?

There are options available to the Indian that are not available to the Chinese. Free speech, protest, the ballot box.

And here's something that hasn't cropped up in the discussion yet: male/female ratio demographics. Ultrasound technology has produced a scenario where, in parts of India, there's a definite female shortage. So, too, in rural China, where a combination of the one-child policy and a confucian preference for boys has produced a large majority of boys. Which country has it worse?

Posted by: Rory B. Bellows at April 9, 2006 03:59 AM

Oh, Wobbly - but you Chinese are handsome (the young LKY) and so many women are simply beautiful. But the Indians in some regions are real lookers, too. But I would agree that the Indians are, by and large, smarter. (Of course, it depends on which ethnic group, as it does with the Chinese, too.) But the Indian contributions to the development of mathematics and physics is superior. Yet Chinese practicality is superior to the Indian. I mean, they had loo paper 1,000 years ago. And gunpowder - not an inconsiderable invention.

I think India will come along much faster by virtue of it being in the Anglosphere and, the middle classes speak English, being able to communicate easily with the rest of the world. Also, they are not shy of foreigners. In fact, Indians rather like foreigners. The Chinese closed themselves off to foreigners for 5,000 years.

I think the interaction of these two clever, dynamic and confident peoples is going to be absolutely intriguing. Europe - as the EU - is nowhere. America will continue to be a mega player for another two hundred years and perhaps much longer. But the power will be seeping to the east beginning in around 70 or 80 years. India has adopted our democracy and that won't go away. Although, having said that, I note the tragedy that democracy in Britain has fled through the back door of Downing Street. Let us hope the Indians are more robust. They are certainly more argumentative.

I hope in the long, slow transition, that India has the edge because they are less institutionally repressive. India's always been a free-for-all and China has always been about tight, fearful control. But either way, along with America - which please god we have managed to wangle our way into by then - the foreseeable future will be theirs.

Posted by: Verity at April 10, 2006 06:55 PM

really comprehensive study and report

Posted by: roshan at April 17, 2006 05:43 AM

well,being an indian ,I would like to throw some light on uprising in india.indian government have taken all kinds of steps to prevent these news from international attention.uprising(separitist movement) are going on north east part of the country since 1950 where about 40 million people of mongoloid stock resides.these uprising has been suppressed by introduction of draconion law in which army personal have the right to shoot the person found to be suspicious.in this part of the country movements and tourists are very much restricted due to fear of spreading the news.this region is least cared by the central government and thus most backward region in the country.hence outside people are most ignorant about this region.colonial British promised to give freedom to these people after they leave but indian army reconquered this region with small population after british left.indian oil companies have been extracting oil from this region but never cared about the development of this region.People of this region have felt about democracy in contrast to indian democracy which is considered, largest democracy in the world.Even people from human right commission are restricted to visit this region and also.......
so,considering above aspects we cannot really rely on the democracy of india.Thus in fact we in india have same problem as that of china.hence we cannot really conclude/predict who has better edge in the future.

Posted by: pratap at April 18, 2006 10:07 AM

ya,pratap is telling the truth.India too has many loop holes.we india consider democracy as rule of majority in which minorities has to bear any law made by the majority.majority do things for their benefits, minorities voice are not heard.democracy is good for the majority but bad for minorities.

Posted by: anup at April 19, 2006 09:36 AM


TIME: We knew you'd say that. But tell us why.
LEE(Kuan Yew): I met this small man when he came to Singapore in November 1978. This small four-foot-eleven man, but a giant of a leader. He gave me a long spiel—the Russian bear, Vietnam was his Cuba in the Far East, danger for you. I had provided him with a Ming vase spittoon, and I put an ashtray in front of him. He neither smoked nor used the spittoon. The same arrangements at dinner. He did not use either. At dinner he said, "I must congratulate you, you've done a good job in Singapore." I said, "Oh, how's that?" He says, "I came to Singapore on my way to Marseilles in 1920. It was a lousy place. You have made it a different place." I said, "Thank you. Whatever we can do, you can do better. We are the descendants of the landless peasants of south China. You have the mandarins, the writers, the thinkers and all the bright people. You can do better." He looked at me, but said nothing. In November 1992, during his famous tour of the southern provinces, he said, "Learn from Singapore," and "Do better than them." I thought, oh, he never forgot what I said to him.

Would we assume Singapore Chinese IQ is actually at right side of Chinese IQ bell curve?

Posted by: I at April 24, 2006 04:22 PM

In comparing China with India, the political and economic system is often over-emphasized. As a Chinese American, I think it's better to compare the two cultures. From that perspective, Indians are often more intellectual in their thinking than Chinese, while Chinese are more practical. An Indian person can easily carry on a long theoretical discussion on any subject while a Chinese person would be far more interested in talking about what works and what doesn't. In other words, Chinese are far more likely to believe in the idea of "the end justifies the means". I think this difference in culture, and not the systems, gives China a short-term edge, while in the long run, China is probably going to do a lot more trial and error than India.

Posted by: homosapien at May 22, 2006 12:17 AM

As a Chinese, I used to think Indian are modest and down-to-earth person similar to Chinese. And with its people, India will definitely have a promising future. But after reading so many Indian's comments that their IQs are higher than Chinese and India's government and political system are much better than those of China. I can't help wondering that I might be wrong before.

Based on my experience, the worst thing that hinders a person's career success is that he doesn't know himself well. This can also be applied to a nation. Chinese never say we are smarter than other nations. We never say our system is better than other countries', although we have a very fast growth in the past two decades. We only say our current system fits with our current situation. That's it. We clearly know our system still have a lot of problems. We face it and are working hard to reform it step by step. For example, in 2002, China allowed capitalists to join CCP and express their ideas. This sounds ridiculous 10 years ago but it happened. Also, in 2005, China permanently eliminated agriculture tax, which had been imposed in China for 2000 years, to relieve farmers’ burden. All these shows we are determined and willing to change. If you read Chinese newspapers, you will find almost all Chinese elites agree that India has a great government system that worth our studying. We never understate others to make us feel better because that's a loser's attitude.

I don't really understand why many Indian are so obsess about surpassing China in GDP. Most Chinese don't really care about GDP. We firmly believe increasing Chinese's happiness and well-beings is much more important than growing GDP. Based on latest reports, China's GDP has surpassed UK this year. But none of my friends talked about it. No Chinese cares about it. This news even did not show on any Chinese mainstream media. We know we are still a developing country with extremely low GDP per capita. We still have 40 million extremely poor people. We still have a lot of serious problems such as corruption, big gap between rural and urban, and lack of democracy. We concentrate on these issues rather than worrying about our GDP ranking in the world.

Finally, in term's of Chinese' IQ, what I want to say is that all nations have the same IQ, no matter you are American, German, Japanese, France, Indian, or Chinese. If you insist Indian have higher IQ than Chinese, I don't want to use some "academic research" to argue with you. I'd like give you some facts for your reference. China has been the most prosperous country in the world for many centuries in the past 2000 years. In 800s, China’s GDP is about 30% of global GDP. In 1200s, China's GDP is over 40% of global GDP. Even after China's economy was heavily destroyed by Mongolian, in 1600s, we still accounted for 30%-33% of global GDP. (In 1950, US accounted for 50% of global GDP, today it accounts for 27%). If you don't believe it, just read the book written by Marco Polo, an Italy traveler visited China in 1300s, to know how he compare the Europe with China at that time. I am not trying to show off our history here. On the contrary, I feel extremely shamed because China became such a poor country in 300 years. Telling you this, I just want to say that if India has not been much more prosperous than China in the past 2000 years, how could you prove Indian’s IQ is higher than Chinese's?

Posted by: Ken Luo at June 3, 2006 02:14 AM

indians are dumb sad wankers.

Posted by: LOL at July 12, 2006 07:17 PM

I have read Steve Sailer's website, the guy writes that he's a conservative Republican more worried about immigration/multi-culturalism and its affect on white America and wrote such a ridiculouly inaccurate article about India. Such an ignorant fool talking about IQ and you others wasting time on him, its amusing.

Posted by: Vikram at July 23, 2006 02:53 AM

52% of India's children are malnourished which must have a deleterious on the development of an intellectually agile population in the subcontinent.Dravidian Indians may also be considerably dimmer than their caucasian Indian counterparts as well.Still China at its current intellectual levels should be able to produce far more scientists and engineers than India.

Posted by: liberation at August 2, 2006 08:13 PM

Is the assertion that the democratic India will eventually win the race over China a visionary thinking or wishful thinking? The question will be clearly answered in next 50 years. Here is my analysis.

1. There is no factual base showing that democratic government certainly has advantage over authoritarian government in economic development. South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore had authoritarian government during the period of their high-speed economic development.

2. If democracy has long term advantage over authoritarianism, giving the fact that China has transformed from central planed economy to free market economy, why do we have to assume that China can not transform to democracy in next a few years?

3. Many people have predicted that China’s economy will collapse in a few years because of the current non-democratic Chinese government and its financial system problem, and then India will lead. I invite you to take a look at the difference between China and India in infrastructure from following links.

Pictures of Indian Cities

Pictures of Chinese Cities

India currently has several hundreds of kilometers of expressway. The following link gives the best road in Inida.

China currently has 45,000 kilometers of expressway. Following link gives the Chinese expressway pictures

My point is that even China’s political system collapses and banks go bankrupted, but the infrastructure won’t go away. With the well-built infrastructure, China will likely reemerge from the collapse just like Russia after communism collapse or Germany and Japan after World War II.

Many Indians believe that Indians are more innovative than Chinese. However, there is a difference between ambition and fact. Please see this video
I think that the young Indian in the video will think differently after he visit the world-largest distribution market for small items in Zhejiang province of China, where samples of all kinds of handcrafted jewelry designs are shown in a huge ten-story building.

There is no factual base that Indians are more innovative than Chinese. China is doing much better than India in almost all scientific and engineering fields except in software engineering and possibly pharmaceutical.


Regarding the Indian mathematical ability and achievement mentioned several times by Indians in this thread, please see the score ranks of International Mathematical Olympiad (scroll down to see ranking table in the following link).

China was ranked number one in 13 competitions from 18 competitions that China participated.

The highest rank that India ever obtained was number 7 from 17 competitions that India participated. India performed much worse than much smaller country like Romania and much poor country like Vietnam.

Why Indians have such a strong belief that they have better mathematical ability is beyond my reasoning capability.

By the way, International Mathematical Olympiad is not organized by Chinese.

Posted by: Kelvin at August 8, 2006 10:57 AM

Steve Sailer made a valid point in his blog if those data collected by Richard Lynn is unbiased.

There is no reason to believe that Richard Lynn or Steve Sailer are biased for China - They are western-educated white men.

Accusing Chinese government faking economic growth data or selecting people for IQ test is an easy but ignorant way for the denial of the facts that China is doing better currently than India in economy and Chinese currently has higher average IQ than Indian. Accepting these painful facts does not necesarily means India won't do better than China in the future.

Posted by: Kelvin at August 8, 2006 11:21 AM

I'm White- not a jew so probably dumber than all of you :). Asians do seem to be great learners and fast thinkers. In Australia at least at my school the Indians didn't seem to excel too much. They seemed to do about as well as your average to semi-smart White person. Asians tended to do better. There is always the lack of innovation theory about asians. For example if i wanted the best piano player in the world i'd probably want an Asian. If i wanted the best composer in the world i'd probably get a white person. Same goes for mathematics. Indians seem closer in this respect i think to white people. Different races of people seem to have benefits in different forms of intelligence. Jews from what i can tell probably excel the most overall. A lot of people are waiting for the "asian creativity revolution" with links associated to China before the last few hundred years. Will be interesting to see if this occurs. Will India or China do better? Maybe they'll both excel but in different areas. How many smart people do you want? We still need the people to do the jobs that don't require smart people- and there are probably more of these jobs. China's rapid growth is mostly associated to them being "used" by America for cheap labour. As is India's. Chinese people tend to be very efficient people which is important with the type jobs which are being created in China. And then theres Africans not even in the contest according to everyone but i'd think there must be certain areas of intelligence where they excel. In Australia we have aboriginals. To me these are the most different race of all the races- a huge separation factor. They do seem to have a knack for navigating the land however- something deep rooted in their evolutionary past. Are there any studies not simply on who is the smartest race of people but rather if certain races of people tend to have particular advantages in different aspects of intelligence? Anyway people the dumb white guy (who still largely runs the world :)- but for how long!) signing out.

Posted by: BAS at October 1, 2006 01:10 PM

Recent geeky invention on internet: Yahoo. Google. you tube. Yahoo and you tube are both with Chinese Americans as creators who did most job including the very idea. White guys are good at marketing idea as their own. Just wait and see. The practical inventions are most made by East Asians. DVD, immunostain diagnosis, 3-d tv screen, ect. If you check most practical patent registered in USA, Japan and Taiwan dominates even Germany. Certainly Westerners are very good at booastiung just like Indian. Now even German complains that Nobel prizes are biased award since they did not get much recently. To Asians, nobel prizes has always biased.

Posted by: IC at November 3, 2006 02:52 PM

hello I am the dumb black guy. My take on the intelligence issue is this. asians and certain jews have been proven in many studies to grasp math quicker then whites and blacks. The catch is that just because an asian can finnish calculus in high school in a four year period where many of your whites students may be top out at basic algebra, doesë not mean that a white guy will eventual finnish it in colledge.

let say it take an asian 4 years or less to master calculus. I takes a white guy 6 or less to master calculus. It takes a black guy another 2 years to master calculus.

The system is designed to teach it in 4 years. many americans after high school dont push them selves to get to the pre calculus colledge level because the education is not free anymore.
so the average white guy with his knowledge of algebra and average black guy with his knowledge of fractions and basic geometry go into the workfore look for jobs and put education on the back burner.

the asian guy was able to jump over the hoop in a the correct time so he is award scolarships "more free education". lets say if the system allow more time for the less quick memories to grasp calculus eventually all of the race would master calculus. once the technique is mastered its just like reading. If you are aplying for a job that requires reading as long as you can function at a certain level it does matter how long it took you to get there.

lastly as for the china and india question. I comes down to do you control the energy to support you country or do somebody else control it. Look at japan they have some brilliant people living there but just about all there businesses where financed and reorganized by the west after WW II. The west allowed some of there patented technology to be product in there country. The japanese society began to train its population to maintain industries of the borrowed western technology. There were competing industries in western countries that were being driven out of business by these u.s. sponsor japanese companese. The japanese could have develop a high tech army easily but were not allowed by the west. The west controlled there oil that financed the mighty technical engine. So because they didnt countrol the financing of there companies, there military and intelligence agency was created and financed by Western countries, and the lack of homegrown natural resorces they were never a threat even in their hayday.

China has resource but can not develop them because of embargos due to human rights issues. most of china out side of the "capitalist zone" rely on very old and outdated technology. china like japan are given western industries to mantain. also like japan many of them have financing from the west. The west also gives allows these joint chinese american factories to fly there products into tax free airports. with the combination of slave labor and tax free transportation and walmart as a main distributor these chinese american business are able drive other competitor out of business.
To put it plainly the bankers are sucking the blood out of china. if a democracy were to occur in china they would certainly change the labor laws. this would drive the price of labor up. and the banks would in shut down all those factoris over night, wich would devastate china.
This is why the west supports and to some degree control china. also most of china federal reserve is in american dollars. The west is toying with china. the chinese goverment knows it and is trying to break free.

india is no better condition. india is trying to get an oil deal with iran and other countries. india is unlike china is more connected to britain. pakistan a western puppet is being used to as a toll collector for the pipeline that was to run from iran to china. india like china is sitting on a ticking population bomb. bush offered india nuclear energy wich india will probaly not control.
The west will continuely drain india economic gains supporting hostile states within and on its boarder while metering the amount of energy that it gets. all of this happening while it population continues to explode.

bush is toying with india. bush knows that he couldnt send nuclear technology with the approval of american congress. underpaid software programmers and telephone operators wont be able to pull india out of western glutches fast enough to offset the population boom.

arguing who is the most intelligent slave is bullshit.

Posted by: corlos at November 23, 2006 07:56 PM

* http://statisticsoftheworld.page.tl/

Posted by: manzhivago at February 25, 2007 04:55 AM

A little bit about IQ on this page:

Posted by: manzhivago at February 25, 2007 04:53 PM

Some info about IQ and ethnic groups are possible to find at http://statisticsoftheworld.page.tl

Posted by: manzhivago at February 28, 2007 09:10 AM

Hi,iam from india and it was interesting to see the arguments put forth in this site about the relative advantages and disadvantages of china and India.What started initially as a dispassionate and intelligible debate suddenly turned murky with some of my fellow countrymen trying to assert belligerently that their IQ is better than chinese.It is really unfortunate that they have taken to unnecessary feud by writing baloney without verifying the facts about the chinese.Some of the chinese,who are equally ignorant for their part have decided to refute with reliable and striking facts about the maths olympiad and the infrastructure problems.But they fail to see that the smartest indians are smarter than the smartest chinese if you go by the race-wise statistics of people with IQ greater than 140 in U.S. and indians infact equal the ashkenazi jews in this regard.I dont think such sort of idiotic assessments of either of us would happen if a group of knowledgeable chinese and indians debate the future of the two countries.

But both of us need to understand that none of us(chinese or indians)have contributed to any great scientific discovery or inventions for the past 500 years or so.It is only the west after the renaissance has made remarkable progress in every field,although our contribution to science and mathematics like rocket science from china and decimal system from india are considerable breakthroughs in their own times.Having said that,if you analyse what we are doing at present is nothing but reinventing the wheel and achieving the same technological and scientific capabilties that west has achieved already.

China sending man to orbit the earth in manned spacecraft or India succesfully enacting reentry of launch vehicles were done by the soviets and americans long before in the 1960s.The infrastructure and the social welfare we are trying to build now are already existing in the west.
What we need to understand is there is nothing like one race is always more intelligent or superior than the other.Every civilization goes through a series of ups and downs and it is preposterous and puerile to claim oneself as superior in any regard.Having been peaceful and friendly societies through out our long history,we should strive to remain the same in the future.Our relationship should be driven by mutually beneficial trade and the people-to-people contacts.We need to work together to confront the future problems of global warming and breakdown of family values and structures that will threaten our livelihood in the future.We should not develop a similar enmity that existed between soviets and USA during the cold war era.Its better to make the debate more lively by concentrating on our strengths and weaknesses and the methods and suggestions to improve them rather than involve ourselves in empty and futile rhetoric

Posted by: Vatsaa at March 13, 2007 08:00 AM

Vatsaa wrote: "the smartest indians are smarter than the smartest chinese if you go by the race-wise statistics of people with IQ greater than 140 in U.S. and indians infact equal the ashkenazi jews in this regard."

You pulled that out of your arse didnt you? Typical indian. So prone to lying and boasting.

East asians have won 15 Nobels in the sciences vs 4 for south asians (including one pakistani). East asians have won 5 Fields Medals vs 0 for indians. Chinese dominate the Math Olympiads, Indians perform pathetically. Even in software in which Indians concentrate heavily, they perform very very pathetically in international competitions, while China, America and eastern europe dominate. Finally, just look at east asia and compare it to the impoverished hellhole that South Asia is, in particular India.

There is no doubt whatsoever that east asians are far more intelligent than Indians.

Posted by: truth at April 5, 2007 12:03 AM

After reading the comments of 'truth',i was reminded of the story about a monkey and a group of birds.
The story goes like:
There were a group of birds and a monkey living in a tree.The birds being prudent build up a nest for themselves and and it served as a shelter for them even during rainy seasons.Once on a rainy day seeing the monkey struggling to find shelter, the benevolent birds went to the monkey and told him thus:"dear brother,Can't you see us protecting ourselves from the the rain by building a shelter of our own.Why dont you build one for yourself so that you don't face such hardships during the rainy seasons".The angry monkey not being used to listening to advice from people who talk sensibly,climbed the tree and destroyed the nest,with the birds watching it despondently.
Moral:Do not advice people who dont deserve it.
Mr.truth is no different from the above mentioned monkey.While he was more than vehement in discounting a fact i put forth,he never took any care to read the later part of my post which laid great emphasis on developing cordial relations with each other.Rather than playing into the hands of the westerners who love to see the skirmish between the asians thrive so that they can always hold their prominent position,it would be better to follow the path of development which is good for every country in this part of the world.

Posted by: shrivatsaa at April 16, 2007 05:11 AM

To add to my previous post,I would like this forum members to go through the article in wikipedia in the below mentioned link.
It seems mr.truth is also capable of getting falsehoods out of his arsehole just as he alleges that i have done.
This would put things in the right perspective and prove why mr.truth is the untruth.It would also remind us asians how long a journey we need to take before we call ourselves scientifically and technologically advanced.

Posted by: vatsaa at April 16, 2007 05:48 AM

Read the following article, am sure its all lies... I can't believe it, how can they make fun of Indian software engineers?!!


Posted by: PureIndianPride at May 26, 2007 01:43 AM

I really hate this guy at Business Week. Why is he beating down on Indian democracy?


Posted by: PureIndianPride at May 26, 2007 01:52 AM

WAIT A MINUTE, who started this debate. It must be a crazy American guy trying to divide China and India.
We all know that in the ear future, China and India will become superpowers. Since, a FEW Americans can't accept this, they try to build tensions between the 2 nations. American policy - "Divide and Rule"

Posted by: qwerty at May 28, 2007 10:58 PM
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