China and India are at a historical crossroads: both countries will have reached a population of 1.45 bn no later than 2025. While the population of India is expected to grow for another half century, China’s population will start to decline roughly in the next decade. Is demography a destiny? Will it have any major impact on growth? Will China fail to overtake the US as the largest economy on earth? Will India catch up with China in terms of per capita income? Are there institutional differences which explain the spectacular growth of China in the last 40+ years? Is there a lesson here for India? Is the present institutional setup conducive to more spectacular growth in China in the foreseeable future? Or has China fallen into a middle income trap? How can India avoid the middle income trap? An even more important question: is democracy a prerequisite or at least a more favorable political environment for sustainable growth and real convergence? Which country will make the more formidable and spectacular development in the next half century? What will be its impact on global geostrategic challenges?
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